The Husband’s Secret – Published 2013
“At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
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.” – Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
This was my first of Moriarty’s books. I know, I know, I’ve got to read BLL, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, despite owning two copies. Someday, someday…
Anyway, I thought it was pretty good. I have a tendency to like a book more the further I get from it, so having finished it a couple of days ago, I might be glorifying it in my mind, but it was good. Not a 10/10, but definitely worth the read, and definitely had some dark twists that I thought were unexpected. I even gasped and grabbed my forehead in horror at one point.
The Goodreads synopsis makes it seem as though the entire book is centered around Cecilia and her husband, but in actuality, it’s told in third person point of view following multiple characters and their stories:
- Cecilia, her husband, his secret, and their kids. She’s sort of a Stepford Wife who sells Tupperware, volunteers at school and seems to take care of the kids most of the time while her husband is away.
- Rachel, who lives alone because her son is grown up and married, her husband passed away, and years ago her daughter was murdered.
- Tess, whose husband is in love with someone else, her cousin, and her son, Liam.
From the very beginning I was sucked in because I wanted to know how these three women were connected and why it was important to tell each of their stories.
There’s some history in the novel (Berlin Wall) and it’s set in Australia, so there were some cultural and vocabulary differences that threw me until I realized it wasn’t set in the US. I found it pretty interesting.
A lot of people despised the epilogue, I guess, but I thought it was okay. It’s a “What the characters didn’t know was…”, “What was going to happen if not for…” type of explanation to wrap things up, which I don’t LOVE, but it was interesting. I won’t spoil anything, but I guess if it’s told from an omniscient narrator, he/she would know what could have/should have been. When I was reading it I was like, “Well how could anyone know that, if that’s not how things played out with the choices that were made?” But that’s Moriarty’s poetic license; it’s her story, so she gets to tell us that’s how it would have gone down.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
I thought it started and ended strong, but the middle of the book was slow-moving and a little depressing.
Spoiler (sort of): I did not like that “someone” got away with “something”. There was a twisted form of justice eventually, I suppose, though.
Tess, what on earth were you thinking? You deserve better.