Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. If you have materials checked out, please hold onto them until we reopen. No fines will accrue during this time.
Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. If you have materials checked out, please hold onto them until we reopen. No fines will accrue during this time.
 

 

 1.31 Liane Moriarty

Let’s talk Liane Moriarty, or as I like to call her, my not-remotely-guilty pleasure. You might think you haven’t heard of this delightful, Australian author, but you’ve probably heard of her most popular novel, BIG LITTLE LIES. After reading one of her books as part of a summer reading challenge a few years ago (in case you’re wondering, the book was TRULY MADLY GUILTY, and the challenge was to read a book with a character that has your same name), I’ve been maybe just a little obsessed and I’ve read everything she’s written and I’m impatiently awaiting the next one.  

Here’s what I love about Liane Moriarty: she is SO GOOD at internal dialogue. Her characters are interesting and complex and oh-so-relatable. She often (but not always) builds up a mystery with this internal dialogue, and often shifts character perspectives so you get different pieces from different characters. She is especially good at writing female characters. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on exactly the reason you’ve stayed up until 3:00 am reading her books AGAIN, but her books are addicting and consistently make me take much longer lunches than I normally would.  

So, with no further ado, I’ll get right to ranking these books from worst (though I’ve enjoyed them all!) to best. I dare you to argue.  

1.31 Truly Madly Guilty8. TRULY MADLY GUILTY
By Liane Moriarty
(2016)

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE BARBEQUE?!?! The answer to that question is less interesting than the exploration of these characters and the various things that motivate them.  

The premise is pretty simple: three couples, three kids, one ill-fated barbeque that throws their lives to shambles. The book ping pongs back and forth from present day to that day at the barbeque, with characters saying ominous things like, “We never should have gone to the barbeque,” or “What if we hadn’t gone to the barbeque?” I dare you not to flip ahead to figure out what they’re talking about. 

TRULY MADLY GUILTY is a good exploration of characters and the ways that their relationships are complicated. This was the first Moriarty novel I read, and obviously it was compelling enough to drive me into a slight obsession, but now that I’ve read everything else she’s written I find this one the least enjoyable.   

 

1.31 The Hypnotists Love Story7. THE HYPNOTIST'S LOVE STORY
By Liane Moriarty
(2012)

Many Moriarty fans actually rank this one as their least favorite, but they’re wrong (though not by much).  

Ellen is a hypnotherapist with a history of terrible relationships and is happy to finally find herself in one she thinks will last. The only complication? He has a stalker of an ex-girlfriend, and she’s constantly interfering in his life. Ellen finds this fact kind of interesting, and is intrigued to meet the woman.  

Except she already has, she just doesn’t know it. DUN DUN DUN!  

This is one of Moriarty’s happier books—in the end, there are no dark twists, no long-held secrets, nobody dead or maimed (though at points in the story you start to feel like all of these things are a real possibility). It wraps up nicely--too nicely? Probably. But it’s a nice fluffy book, and I read it in about four days so obviously the story still drew me in. Plus, I want to live in Ellen’s beach house.  

 

1.31 Three Wishes6. THREE WISHES
By Liane Moriarty
(2005)

Three Wishes This was Moriarty’s debut, which is kind of hard for me to believe. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s got all the hallmarks of her career just in little seedling form. THREE WISHES follows the lives of a set of triplets in their thirties; the book opens with the pregnant one getting stabbed (comically…I promise there is a comical way to be stabbed…), and then fills in the backstory to see how we got there.  

There are family secrets; there is LOTS of family drama. There are some coincidences that occasionally feel like a stretch but work in service of the story. Each triplet has her own unique voice and story arc, and I’d say that the ending is just about as happy as it could be for these characters.  

 

1.31 The Last Anniversary5. THE LAST ANNIVERSARY
By Liane Moriarty
(2006) 

THE LAST ANNIVERSARY shares so many things with Moriarty’s other novels:  great interior dialogue, an unsolved mystery, relatable female characters. Funny, funny, funny, but also heart-wrenching.  

The premise of this one is a little bonkers; a year after ending her “perfect on the outside” relationship with Thomas, Sophie unexpectedly inherits his late aunt’s house on Scribbly Gum Island, home of the infamous Munro baby mystery. Shockingly, she accepts the house and decides to move there. Even more shockingly, most of Thomas’s family are inexplicably cool with her giant house being left to someone outside the family. When Sophie moves in, mysteries develop and unravel. Some I definitely saw coming, but there’s one twist I did NOT anticipate and it made me audibly gasp.  

This one hosts a cast of quirky characters, but also starts to tackle deep issues (wasn’t really expecting a novel that explored postpartum depression in any kind of thoughtful way, but this one manages it!).

 

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