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The Husband's Secret Hardcover – July 30, 2013
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We don't always make the the right choices in life. Sometimes not making a choice is a choice in itself. This is a thought-provoking, emotional, and masterfully crafted novel focusing on the complexities of relationships, secrets, forgiveness, trust and love, that will have you thinking about this novel long after you've finished it. The novel also has a couple of back-stories going on as well, it's not all about the husband's secret, but all the pieces are intricately woven, bringing it to a satisfying conclusion.
In my humble opinion, I loved the ending (except for the fact that it was indeed ending.) The epilogue was my favorite part, actually. It reinforced a suspicion I had about the "secret" earlier in the novel, but also gives us a look at everything from other "what if" perspectives. I will definitely read more by this Australian author. Highly recommended for book clubs, there is a lot to discuss. Don't miss it. Thanks to Amazon for the opportunity to review the uncorrected proof (advance readers copy) prior to its release.
"For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick
To be opened only in the event of my death"
She found the envelope amongst a stack of old tax records and imagined it contained a sentimental message, given it was dated just a few days after the birth of their first child, fifteen years ago. Cecilia has no idea that the letter will blow her world apart.
The story of The Husband's Secret unfolds from the third person perspectives of three women, Cecilia, Tess and Rachel. At first the connections between these women are peripheral but the secret Jon-Paul has been keeping for decades will change them all.
Cecilia has been married to John-Paul for fifteen years, they have three bright and beautiful daughters and a busy, happy life. Cecilia is the P&C president, a successful Tupperware host and her neat and orderly world is shattered when her husband returns early from a business trip.
Tess is devastated when her husband announces he has fallen in love with her best friend, cousin and business partner, Felicity. Her only thought is to escape and she abandons her life in Sydney to return to her childhood home. Tess isn't interested in renewing old friendships but finds she can't resist the attentions of an old flame.
Every day is an effort for Rachel. It is only the presence of her toddler grandson that relieves the grief that has haunted her since her teenage daughter was murdered more than twenty years ago, and now her son and his wife are moving to New York.Read more ›
There are three main characters, Cecilia, Rachel and Tess, who are all experiencing upheavals in their lives. Moriarty excels at describing how the quotidian details of one's life can change due to the "before and after" of cataclysmic events. She deftly uses both Tupperware and the Berlin Wall as metaphors for sealing in and keeping out.
The novel is about secrets, and I don't want to reveal any of them because Moriarty does it so brilliantly in the novel. Basically we are asked, as observers, to contemplate how a person can live with a huge and terrible, secret. And how can you live knowing someone else's huge and terrible secret? Human existence is complicated and messy and far from black and white/good and bad. Humans make strange and often irrational choices. Are they always indefensible? These are the kinds of things that Moriarty is so good at dissecting for her readers, and why we keep coming back for more.
Without revealing anything, I want to say a word about the ending. I expect some readers are going to have a problem with the climax and the denouement. I thought about it for a while after finishing the book and before sitting down to write this review, and I decided that I'm fine with it. I think Moriarty made the right writing and plot choices here and it worked for me. I highly recommend this novel.
From the premise of the novel to the very last detail of its execution The Husband's Secret had me totally in its grip and still causes some soul searching even now after the last page has been turned. What would you do if you found a letter written to you by your husband years ago, marked "to be opened in the event of my death"? Cecilia of course wants to do the right thing - she is the queen of proper decision-making (no eeny-meeny-miny-mo for her), and decides to ask her husband John-Paul about it first. His reaction is so baffling that for once Cecilia does give in to temptation - and opens the letter. Its contents are so startling, so mind-blowing that her life, and that of their three daughters, can never be the same again. No matter of organising, smoothing-over or patching-up will ever fix this mess, and for the first time in her life Cecilia finds herself totally out of her depth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book held me. The characters were multi-dimensional and had unexpected twists. The surprising relevations at the end will not be what you expect. A good read.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I loved this book. It was good and kept me interested the whole timePublished 3 days ago by hawtzombie
I loved this book! Great characters. Very thought provoking.Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Starts a little slow and introduces many characters that are a little difficult to follow at first. Stick with it, it is SO worth it. Many twists.Published 3 days ago by L. Reed
I was absolutely smitten with this book! The only reason I did not give it a 5 is because I did have to start the book over once I began reading it because the plethora of... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
An interesting read, even though the prose and characters were not very complex.Published 3 days ago by Margaret I. Gunn