Title: The Husband’s Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Woman’s Fiction – Contemporary
From the author of the critically acclaimed What Alice Forgot comes a breakout new novel about the secrets husbands and wives keep from each other.
My Darling Cecilia
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…
Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all – she’s an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia – or each other – but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s devastating secret.
“She never swore. All these years there had been a Tupperware container of bad language sitting off to the side in her head and now she’d opened it and all those crisp, crunchy words were lovely and fresh, ready to be used.”
The book starts off with a brief summary of the parable of Pandora being unable to resist opening the box – well, actually it was a jar, which I had never heard of “Pandora’s Jar” before, only a box. So the portents are there at the very beginning. It reminds me of a lesson I often forget… when someone asks, “Do you want to know a secret?” often – and far too late – I later wished I had answered “NO!” as secrets cannot be unheard and some secrets you are far better off not knowing. Although we all WANT to know the secret when it is offered up to us like a delicious treat. Making us feel oh so special that WE know it – and are now in an elite, exclusive, and select club that everyone else has been excluded from.
The Husband’s Secret weaves between three different families, who are typical, common, everyday people. And are written as such believable characters. They could be your neighbors, co-workers, family…I know people like these. While I was reading I began to wonder, could my neighbors be in a book with their secrets? However, I could never fully see or invest my energy in my own neighbors this way. Ms. Moriarty presents these people as it they are fascinating, and damn it – they are! Every character is fully fleshed out and their personalities totally inhabited. All their odd little quirks and mannerisms accounted for in a humorous yet succinct way. I was, and am still captivated! I felt as if I were sitting in their homes watching them go about their day, or in the backseat as they drove in their cars. The book was so richly detailed it ran like a continuous movie reel in my head, with very little effort on my part. And there are more secrets than just the husband’s. Many more, aren’t there always?
This books is excellent, well written, and just delicious with gossip. I suffered book hangovers, I didn’t want to stop reading… and once forced to pause for sleeping or that pesky thing called employment, I couldn’t wait to get back to it and start up again the following day. While slogging through my regular life, I thought about the characters during the day, recalling their conversations as if I had been present and they had been talking to me. The writing is crisp and insightful, their inner musings and anxieties cleverly displayed and illuminated.
So the lesson I am reminded of – once again – we all have secrets; that should remain just that. Otherwise, they are not special, and neither are we.
The Australian spelling got my attention until I realized that our Aussie friends often utilize /s/ where we use /z/. So relax, it is not sloppy editing. I loved this book! I could almost give it 5 hearts, but I didn’t cry. I only give 5 hearts to books that are beautifully written – as this one is, AND either make me laugh aloud or ugly cry, and it was just not quite. But I will definitely be on the watch for more of this author’s work.
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