Title: The Husband’s Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: She Reads
Cupcake Rating: The Ultimate Cupcake Supreme
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.
It is not very often that I will insist that readers buy a book. However, you have to BUY THIS BOOK!
When I first started reading the story, I wasn’t quite sure how the storyline would progress. It starts out with Cecilia reading the front of an envelope, addressed to her, and she debates on whether to open it or not. The author shares a rather interesting story about Pandora and her box, and like Cecilia, I kept reading and opened the box (or rather the book) and was so drawn in to the storyline through the very end. Just when you think you have finished the book, Liane throws a HUGE curveball with how differently things could have been had a different choice been made.
This is the type of novel that will certainly attract a wider variety of readers: those who love a great mystery, some romance, relationship issues/infidelity, secrets, murder, etc. This is an excellent pick for book clubs, women groups, and the individual reader that wants a book to dive into.
I have not read Liane Moriarty’s first novel, so I didn’t know what to expect when I turned to the first page. However, I found myself taking this book everywhere with me to sneak in a few pages…okay, chapters, and I could not peel myself away from the book! There was a particular scene that I guess I was unconsciously getting giddy about, when my husband asked what I was reading. I told him, “it’s so good…this book may quite possibly be the best book of the year!”
I don’t want to set this book up so high that when you read it, it’s a major let down. The beginning was a bit confusing and I couldn’t grasp who all the characters were (as each chapter is devoted to a character), and I didn’t know how they would all come together. However, through circumstances, 3 women become interlinked, despite their own challenges and issues.
Cecilia is the “perfect” mom and wife…even daughter in law. She has it so together, has charts, her pantry is in order, she is involved in every aspect of her children’s lives, and quite involved at their school. She is the mom that shows up at school with her hair styled, make-up looking pristine, her style of dress is impeccable, and you just can’t imagine how she does it all.
Rachel is an elderly woman, who has experienced huge losses in her life. She is the woman who makes a great listener, holds her opinions to herself, and observes everything. She has her own battles to deal with, but acts as if all is well. If anything, she finds herself comforting those who may possibly offend or hurt her.
Tess is also a mom and wife, who works with her cousin and husband. She is the mom of a little boy, who is possibly being bullied. Tess is faced with a huge situation and moves to live with her mom, while Mom recuperates from an ankle injury. While there, she connects with an old boyfriend and faces the decision of reunifying with her husband or moving forward with a potential love interest.
Then, weaved throughout this book are snippets of The Berlin Wall and the families that were separated from that wall. Cecilia’s daughter is quite the historian and is obsessed with any information she can find about the families impacted by The Berlin Wall. All Cecilia can remember during that time is meeting a boy and kissing him. So, she is quite shocked and feels its so morbid that her daughter is so engrossed in reading everything she can about it and watching videos. While it seems that the wall is just a story on its own, it has some relationship to the overall storyline. The choices made the day the wall went up, the heroic escapes people attempted to reunite with family, the separation and loss of family and loved ones, and how circumstances can create division with loved ones, unexpectedly.
There are so many twists and turns in this book!! I suggest you just go with it. Don’t get too caught up with who’s who, because it will all come together and you’ll learn how they each have to face a big issue and which choice they make. While the book is about the “husband’s secret”, there are plenty of “wife’s secrets”, too!!
When I think of this book, I think of this quote:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)
I loved this book, it stayed with me for days, I even re-read the last chapter and epilogue! This is a book that goes beyond infidelity, murder, and secrets…it’s about the choices people make and how it can certainly change the circumstances going down one road! Liane Moriarty writes about each character with such depth, that one character doesn’t overpower the other. Each one is flawed and the choices they make in the end are so impactful, that you can’t help but wish there were more pages to read!
For more information on this book and the author, visit here.
- YOU reading group: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (dailymail.co.uk)
- Online book club a perfect fit for moms (charlotteobserver.com)
- Liane Moriarty Explores the Secrets in a Marriage (omnivoracious.com)
- Secrets by Liane Moriarty (thepenguinblog.typepad.com)