Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: The Husband's Secret

By Melissa Amster

In my Facebook newsfeed, I usually come across these articles that I probably shouldn't open, but end up reading anyway out of morbid curiosity. They're usually about horrible parents who get arrested for abusing or killing their children for ridiculous reasons. Once I've seen those articles, they bother me throughout the day as I try to comprehend why anyone would do that to an innocent child. Just like with those articles, I can imagine it being difficult to have a letter in front of me with instructions to not open it until an undeterminable date. Cecelia is faced with this dilemma in The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. Should she open the letter now and deal with what is written on the pages, or should she preserve her ignorance and keep it sealed, as instructed? Knowing that her husband is perturbed by her finding the letter gives her the answer she's been looking for.

Cecelia's typical suburban housewife life is about to be changed in ways she never imagined. The letter she finds from her husband, John-Paul, tells her not to open it until his death. When she calls him about it, he laughs it off but then ends his business trip early in an effort to make sure she doesn't open it. What is he hiding? The secret inside will affect not only Cecelia's life but also the lives of those around her.

Tess has moved herself and her son back to her mother's home after a betrayal from her husband and cousin/best friend. She reunites with an old flame, but doesn't know about some secrets he has buried in the past.

Rachel is still grieving her daughter's death and becoming even more depressed after finding out that her son and daughter-in-law will be moving overseas with her only grandchild. When a way to get closure for her daughter's death falls into her hands, she knows she has to do something about it.

With the help of the mysterious note, these three women will be brought together in ways they never expected.

I was blown away by The Husband's Secret (both the novel and the actual secret). Liane Moriarty's writing is spot-on and she made me feel the emotions each character was harboring, whether or not I could even relate to what they were going through. I felt like I was sitting with each of them and having tea. The story was a lot darker than I was expecting, but still very captivating, with lots of moral dilemmas and gray areas that I could see Jodi Picoult having a field day with. There was a choice Liane made for one of her characters that I was not pleased with initially, but was glad that the outcome wasn't as horrendous as it could have been. I might have never forgiven her otherwise! I also didn't understand how the secret really impacted Tess, but maybe I missed something. I felt like she was just there in the background, dealing with her own drama.

Liane uses a lot of details which makes for easy visualizations but doesn't take away from the story at all. (Just how I like it!) Overall, the story was powerful and intense and will definitely make readers think long after the last page is turned. It is definitely worthy for book club material!

Thanks to Amy Einhorn Books for the book in exchange for an honest review. They're doing a giveaway with Liane's interview.

More by Liane Moriarty:

1 comment:

Connie said...

Oh my! I have to read this because I am very curious to know the secret. What could it be? What a terrific review! Now, I’m off to add this book to my Wish List. Thanks for sharing.