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The Husband's Secret Paperback – March 3, 2015
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
This is an excellent book! I love how all of the characters seem to have totally separate lives, only to collide in one fateful moment. I also enjoyed the "what ifs", because let's face it, we all wonder how different our lives would be "if only". The characters seem so human, something not all authors seem able to achieve. I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Ms. Moriarty does a masterful job of bringing the reader into the minds of these three troubled and imperfect women (though each is sympathetic and even admirable in their own right).
Cecilia is happily married to John-Paul and had three delightful girls. Besides running the household, taking care of the children, chairing various committees at the school and church, Cecile also sells Tupperware. In fact, she is the biggest seller of Tupperware around. To be able to juggle all her jobs, Cecilia is lucky to have a bit of OCD. She is thoroughly organized and never forgets things.
Rachel is the secretary of St. Angela’s school three days a week. The other two days are spent taking care of her grandson, Jacob. Rachel’s husband Ed had died as did her daughter Janie. After Janie’s death, Rachel withdrew within herself and is just now realizing that. She did know that her son, Rob, was somewhat neglected emotionally during this period. All she wants is the murderer to be found and brought to justice. She thinks the PE teacher at her school, Connor Whitby was the murderer. No proof has been found for her belief or has it?
Tess is the account manager of an advertising firm TWF. It is owned by Tess, her husband Will, and her cousin Felicity. Amazingly, the business is doing very well. They work out of the basement of Tess and Will’s home. Then one day, Will and Felicity tell Tess they are in love with each other although they had not been to bed together. As if that made it OK! Tess is floored by this information as she and Felicity had been brought up like sisters or twins. They had been together all their lives. Felicity even told Tess she should marry Will. Tess leaves home with her son Liam and returns to her mother’s home to take care of her mother who had broken her ankle. She enrolls Liam in St. Angela’s school where she meets Cecilia, Rachel, and Connor.
How will their lives entwine now? One of them knows who killed Janie; but is reluctant to tell the truth. What would happen if it were told? Someone’s life would be ruined as well as the lives of their family.
This is a really good book and I highly recommend it.