Published: July 26, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
You might enjoy this book if you like: Novels about female friends, stories with secrets, novels about parenting
Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?
Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.
Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.
Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?
So this is a tough one. It wasn't an entirely successful book for me, but I can't help wondering if it would have been more successful if another author's name were on the cover. Liane Moriarty has had enough success--and I've had enough success with her--that she comes with certain expectations. For another author, this book wouldn't have been encumbered so. But, that wasn't the case...
This is not Moriarty's best book--although, to be fair, it isn't her worst either. Overall, it is an acceptable book with some problems. The issue is that those problems are ones that a writer such as Moriarty should not have. I'm not saying these would not have been problems if someone else were the author, but they probably would not have stood out as much.
One of the major problems with this book, and the one I had the biggest issue, is that there were just too many characters. It wasn't that there were a multitude of people, just that some of the characters didn't need to be there. This story could have easily been told if Tiffany, Vid, Dakota, and Harry were taken out. Yes, there would have to be some logistical changes, but nothing that caused a major issue with the plot. These four characters (well, three...as Harry only seemed to be a factor in a few parts) just didn't really contribute anything to the central plot, which was the complicated relationships between Clementine, Erika, Sam, and Oliver. I almost felt deprived when Moriarty would go into Tiffany and Vid's story instead of delving more into the other central characters.
I also felt that the conclusion of the story just dragged on too long. The actual story pretty much wraps up at around the 80% mark...but then it just keeps going. Part of this is the addition of Tiffany, Vid, Dakota, and Harry and, as I said, they could have been lifted out of the book with very little--if any--consequence. But part of it is also that it just seems like Moriarty didn't quite know how to end things.
Honestly, these are both issues that I could have overlooked if I weren't already familiar with the author and didn't know that she could do better. The core of the story is thought-provoking and, with some more focus, could have been stellar. Would I recommend this? Well, it isn't the first (or second or third) Moriarty book I'd put out there. But if there is something specific in this story that you might relate to, I'd suggest it
I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.