With one swift, vicious movement, she sliced the envelope open, and pulled out a handwritten letter.
love you and the girls…
so sorry to leave you with this…
The Husband’s Secret is a funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love and secrets. When her husband announces he’s in love with her best friend, painfully shy Tess picks up her young son and returns to her mother’s house. There she begins an unexpected affair with an old flame. Rachel is a woman in her sixties consumed by grief and anger at the loss of her daughter twenty years earlier. When her son announces he is taking her beloved grandson overseas, Rachel begins a descent into deeper bitterness and pain. Cecilia is the quintessential “I don’t know how she does it” woman. A devoted mother to three daughters, she runs her household like clockwork, is President of the P&C, owns an extremely successful Tupperware business and is happy in her fifteen-year marriage. Until she discovers a letter in their attic labelled: “To my wife Cecilia, to be opened in the event of my death”… Her husband’s secret is a bombshell beyond all imagining with repercussions across the lives of all three women.
Author: Liane Moriarty
Length: 416 pages
Source: Review copy provided from RealReaders
Publication Date: 29th August 2013, by Penguin
The Husband’s Secret follows three women as their lives are slowly drawn together. Tess faces heartbreak when her husband’s affair is revealed, and packs herself and her son off to Sydney to live with her mother. Cecilia, a busy but organised mum of three girls finds a mysterious letter from her husband to be opened upon his death. Rachel, having suffered tragedy once before, is still coping with the aftermath but has found a new love for live thanks to her grandson Jacob – and then it’s announced that Jacob and his parents are moving to New York.
When I first started reading The Husband’s Secret I had a little trouble keeping track of the characters, but all three women have such individual personalities it only took me a few chapters to get to grips with everyone. Cecilia, the busy PTA mother, is the one who finds the letter. Unable to decide whether or not to open it, the decision is made for her when her husband races home, desperate to stop her reading it. Tess is the woman shattered by her husband’s affair, driven to her mother’s to escape him and the woman he is in love with. Rachel is the devoted grandmother, heartbroken by the death of her daughter and facing tragedy again as her son’s family prepare to move to New York. Each of the three women develops their own voice and personality, and their lives become slowly more entwined as the story progresses.
A novel about secrets, The Husband’s Secret is full of twists and revelations, choices and consequences. Although you may guess some of the secrets reasonably quickly, the novel will still have you hooked as you wonder how the characters will cope with the opening of Pandora’s Box. Despite the sometimes dark nature of the plot, the novel manages to have it’s share of funny moments as well as heart-breaking ones. The themes of choice, secrets, justice and Pandora’s Box would make it a fantastic book club pick to analyze and discuss, but there is no sense of preaching or telling you a message, so it is equally good as a simple chick-lit read.
A beautifully-written, gripping read, I couldn’t put The Husband’s Secret down, and I finished it in a day. The epilogue is particularly well done. Ideal for fans of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain, The Husband’s Secret is family driven chick-lit that had me desperate to finish. It is a light, addictive, quick read, ideal to get lost in for an evening.
Buy it? I’d be happy to pay the current £3 price for the paperback.
In a nutshell: An easy, gripping read, with characters you care about, beautiful writing and excellent plot twists.