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The Husband's Secret Paperback – March 3, 2015
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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 an alternate Paperback 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 an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Set in the suburbs of Sydney, Liane Moriarty picks up the silken strands that are the lives of Cecilia, Tess and Rachel and laces them deftly together over the ‘Easter Week’.
Rachel’s daughter was murdered when she was seventeen, a tragedy she has still not come to terms with over twenty five years later. She now faces the daunting prospect of her grandson moving away. Tess finds out that her husband and her best friend who is also a much cherished cousin are in love with each other. Shattered, she retreats to her mother’s house in the suburbs with her son. However, it is Cecilia; the one with the perfectly organized life, the one who always seems to have it all together, who finds ‘the letter’ from her husband. Will she open it or not?
Over a period of just seven days we have events from their lives woven together with a skill that would have made Athena proud. Circumstances, decisions, consequences and the circle goes on.
This was a sizeable book, it was set in the suburbs and there wasn’t any great mystery here despite what the title suggests. On the face of it there was nothing that should really grip your attention but enthrall me it did. I couldn’t put it down and I was surprised myself at how fast it went. Kudos to Liane Moriarty for being such a great story-teller.
She draws you into the perfectly ordinary lives of these women and you don’t even realize you have actually been pulled into the room with them. Fear, lies, loss, weakness, adultery she throws them all at you and it eventually boils down to the choices these women make in their lives. What I appreciated is that the characters were not black or white, they were human with all the foibles that humans have and Ms Moriarty just presented their story, she never judged them. That she leaves to us.
The only part which I question is the need for the character of Tess and her story. It was a great story but I didn’t quite get the connection with the main plot. Also the ending felt too much like a ‘done and dusted’ affair. Minor drawbacks at best.
It categorically deserves a five star rating and what was the icing on the cake for me were the brilliant little truisms’ that her characters come up with either as snippets of conversation or in their thoughts. E.g. one from Cecilia
‘She’d learned that with her daughters. Don’t say a word. Don’t ask a question. Give them enough time and they’d finally tell you what was on their mind. It was like fishing. It took silence and patience.’
I was amazed at how many times I changed my mind about whether they made the right decision, if I even liked the ending, or agreed with their actions. I love books like this because they stay with you long after you've finished, and they make you think. Honestly, the only reason I'm giving this book 4 starts is because it was a tough start. The first few chapters had a hard time keeping my attention and there were a few times I just wanted to put the book down and move on to something else. I'm so glad I stuck it out though, because it gets better towards the middle and leads into an explosive ending.
Definitely worth the read and for once, a really great book at a really great price!