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The Husband's Secret Hardcover – July 30, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1st Printing edition (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399159347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399159343
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13,121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2013: Liane Moriary is probably doomed to be forever labeled a writer of “chick lit.” But despite its dopey name, her new novel, The Husband’s Secret, is better described as a comedy of manners and one with a serious undertone. As in her previous books, most successfully What Alice Forgot, Moriarty here wittily and observantly chronicles the life of middle aged, middle class Australian women, suburbanites who grapple with prosaic issues like marital fidelity and torturous ones like moral guilt and responsibility. You can’t help but laugh along with the small observations--“And there was poor little Rob, a teenage boy clumsily trying to make everything right, all false smiles and cheery lies. No wonder he became a real estate agent.” But it’s the big ones--Can good people do very, very bad things, and what, exactly, are we responsible for, and for how long?--that will make you think. This is a deceptively rich novel that transcends its era and place at the same time that it celebrates same. --Sara Nelson

From Publishers Weekly

Australian author Moriarty, in her fifth novel (after The Hypnotist's Love Story), puts three women in an impossible situation and doesn't cut them any slack. Cecilia Fitzpatrick lives to be perfect: a perfect marriage, three perfect daughters, and a perfectly organized life. Then she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only in the event of his death. She opens it anyway, and everything she believed is thrown into doubt. Meanwhile, Tess O'Leary's husband, Will, and her cousin and best friend, Felicity, confess they've fallen in love, so Tess takes her young son, Liam, and goes to Sydney to live with her mother. There she meets up with an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, while enrolling Liam in St. Angela's Primary School, where Cecilia is the star mother. Rachel Crowley, the school secretary, believes that Connor, St. Angela's PE teacher, is the man who, nearly three decades before, got away with murdering her daughter—a daughter for whom she is still grieving. Simultaneously a page-turner and a book one has to put down occasionally to think about and absorb, Moriarty's novel challenges the reader as well as her characters, but in the best possible way. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (Aug.)

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Customer Reviews

This book kept me interested from the beginning to the end.
Jim Reiterr
I could not put this book down ... One of the few books I have read that I hate to have finished.
Susan M. LaPorte
Well written; great characters & very interesting story line.
Kim L Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

635 of 680 people found the following review helpful By mzglorybe TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow! I rarely give out 5 stars for a novel, it has to be exceptional, and this is. A difficult review to write without giving too much away. Suffice it to say that the writing is what makes it exceptional. Moriarty develops each character with a skill that has the reader often wondering... what would I do in this case? The way she strings the relationships together make this fiction novel totally believable, and has the reader caring about each character, drawing us in and reading far later than we intended to.

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.
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745 of 833 people found the following review helpful By Shelleyrae TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I am a huge fan of Liane Moriarty and I have enjoyed every single one of her novels, most recently What Alice Forgot and The Hypnotist's Love Story. The Husband's Secret is her fifth adult fiction novel and for me, her best yet.

"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.
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302 of 351 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lins TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I became a big fan of Liane Moriarty's novels after reading "The Hypnotist's Love Story"; she writes compellingly and realistically of modern marriage, betrayal, joy and heartbreak. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review her latest, "The Husband's Secret", which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Amelia68 on April 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved all of Liane Moriarty's previous books, and was therefore very excited to find out that her latest novel was available for download from Amazon. It quickly solved my dilemma of the dreadfully difficult decision of which book on my looooooong tbr list to read next (maybe if I was as organised as Cecilia I would have a better system than the eeny-meeny-miny-mo method I usually employ, coupled with much nail-biting and doubt over my final decision). And The Husband's Secret did not disappoint - Moriarty's gift of making her characters almost real flesh-and-blood people, coupled with the offer of an unexpected roster day off from work, made for an intense read-a-thon which saw me finishing this book in a few hours of sheer reading bliss.

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.
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