"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

05 September 2017

2017 Book Review #27: Truly, Madly, Guilty

This author never disappoints!  I've read two of her other novels and really enjoyed them.  This particular one is my fave so far.


Sam is married to Clementine and they have two little girls, Holly (age 5) and Ruby (a toddler).  Sam and Clementine lead very busy, active lives in Sydney, Australia.  Clementine is a cellist and is preparing for a big audition to join a chamber group.  Sam has just begun his dream job.  They are not poor but are not super wealthy and they own their own home.  Life is wonderful and they can always count on each other.  

They are friends with Oliver and Erika. They do not have children, although Oliver very much wants to be a dad.  Clementine and Erika have been friends since childhood.  Erika used to spend many days and nights at Clementine's home, even to the point of going on vacations with Clementine's family.  This was to escape her own home where life was tough for her.  She grew up poor, with a dysfunctional, hoarder of a mother. Clementine grew up with older brothers and both parents.  Their friendship tends to be a bit complicated though.

One  Sunday afternoon, Erika and Oliver, are invited by their very wealthy next-door neighbors to a backyard barbecue.  Vid and Tiffany are very extroverted and "out there".  They love to have a good time and have very big personalities. They have a daughter named Dakota who is about 10 years old.

When Vid finds out that Sam and Clementine were supposed to be going to Oliver and Erika's, he invites them along as well.

They are all having a marvelous time laughing, eating and drinking.  

And then the unthinkable happens. A seemingly horrible accident.

Two months later, Clementine and Sam can't stop asking the question: "What if we hadn't gone"?


This book explores many different facets of life and relationships.

It touches on the marital relationship, both good, bad, easy, difficult, and somewhere in between.

It explores the various depths of parenthood and friendship.  The author does a fantastic job with showing us that when a person feels guilty about something, that can expose many other weaknesses in what is often seen as a very strong relationship.  She shows us that what we do not say is often more powerful than what we do say.  The underlying theme is that no matter how ordinary our lives are, they really are extraordinary and we need to be grateful for them and appreciate them.

The character development is strong in each and every character.  The ending was a bit of a surprise to me and very well done.

This book is a page turner and is set at a very good pace.  I fell in love with all of the characters.

Other topics raised in this story are the issues of infertility, surrogate parenting, and foster care.  

The book goes between the day of the barbecue and the weeks later. As more of the story was revealed in the present, more of the afternoon at the barbecue is revealed.  It was very well done and kept things quite interesting.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older, due to some mature content.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.

1 comment:

Susanne said...

Already on my To read list. I'll have to bump it up.