17.2.15

The Husband's Secret // Book Review

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read...


Snug rating: 3/5 stars

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, 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 secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

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This review has been a long time coming. Since January in fact, when myself and a few others gathered around our laptops one chilly January evening to discuss the book, (amongst other things!) as part of the Bloggers Book Club, run the lovely ladies over at Sunny Sweet Pea and The Cup and Saucer.

I'm a fickle one when it comes to this book. When I first read it I loved it. I was commuting to London each day and the entwined scandal taking part across the world on Australia's East Coast near lifted me from under the armpits of too tall businessmen and I became the unconscious observer of Aussie affairs, scandal and lies. The story surrounds four women whose stories gradually interconnect and overlap, taking their somewhat humdrum existence on a journey full of drama and intrigue, with occasionally disastrous consequences.

I'll be honest, I liked the characters. I think Moriarty captured the physical ache of Rachel's grief as it crept into her aging bones particularly well. Cecilia's painfully perfect home life, visible from her meticulous arrangement of pantry tupperware disentangles with ease and pays service to the way some use organisation to paper over the cracks in their life. Felicity's incessant need to copy her cousin has the suffocating effect I'm sure we've all experienced at some point. But then again, the characterisation only touched upon these points - they weren't entirely submersive. Sometimes I'd find myself questioning a character's intention. 'Hmm, would she really say that? I'd go ballistic if MY husband said ... to me!' To put it in short, I wasn't entirely convinced by her writing.

Then again, I'm notoriously gullible and never see the 'twist' coming in stories. I can just about guess what's going to happen in a rom com, but when it comes to books I'm entirely in the dark, no matter how obvious it may seem. The other ladies in the Bloggers Book Club had pretty spot on guesses as to to how the story would pan out. Embarrassingly so, I didn't!

I would read one of Moriarty's books again - they're great for a holiday read and do have a certain depth to them without being too taxing on the ol' brain. Let's be honest, that's exactly what we need sometimes...


You can find my other book reviews here. If you'd like to follow along with the Bloggers Book Club, have a look here - it's a great way to discover new literature. I'm eagerly reading 'The Opposite of Loneliness' by Marina Keegan, which is definitely a refreshing and profound change to the eighteenth century texts I find myself drawn to.

What have you been reading and loving (or not loving!) recently?

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