By: Liane Moriarty
Pubsliher: G.P Putnam's Sons
Published Year: 2013
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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.
This book was on my radar for a while because it was really popular about a year or so ago. Last summer, we had the choice between reading this and What Alice Forgot for book club and went with What Alice Forgot. I was interested by the summary, but not as much as her other books. I love the cover and would definitely pick it up based just on that.
What I thought
I enjoyed this and finished it in about two days, but in comparison I would say her other book are better.
The Husband’s Secret is about a woman who finds a letter from her husband with the instructions to open it after his death, but he is still very much alive. Similarly to Moriarty’s other book, Big Little Lies (review), the book follows multiple characters with multiple story lines but that al intertwine. So not only are you following, Carissa, but you are following Tess and Rachel. While Carissa’s story line is the one that gets everything moving, Rachel really helps to move the story along.
I really enjoyed all of the characters and all of the stories. Thinking back on it, I don’t really know that Tess had much of a purpose, but I think she might have been my favorite story. She has a unique and unhealthy relationship with her cousin (they are practically twins and do everything together), that causes the breakup of her marriage. I loved reading about all of the complexities of each of her relationships as well as her inner battles.
Unfortunately, this book is a bit predictable. My husband was sitting next to me while I was reading and he said “The Husband’s secret? That could only be three things. He murdered someone, he had an affair, or both.” It was hilarious but it was spot on and in that moment (when I was max a quarter into the book), I figured out exactly what had happened and what the secret was going to be.
Now, even though it is predictable, it is still enjoyable. Moriarty does a great job of tying all the stories together in subtle ways and making the reader really care about each of the characters. I think because of that, this story became a bit long for me. I was surprised when I was close to the end to realize that this book essentially takes place over a week of time. The way that it’s written and the amount of detail there is makes it seem like the events of this book occur over a month.
There are a lot of moral complexities within this novel and I can see it making a great book club book. Would you read a letter that your husband told you not to? Once you did, what would you do with the secret? What do you think about Rachel and her grief? There are just so many layers to this story and it is really interesting.
By: Liane Moriarty