She Reads Book Review: The Husband’s Secret

September 16, 2013 5 stars, Amy Einhorn Books, book review, fiction, marriage, putnam books, She Reads 8

Written By:  Lianne Moriarty

Published By:  Amy Einhorn Books an imprint of Putnam   July 30, 2013

Length:  416 pages

Source:  Provided by Publisher as part of She Reads Book Club

Imagine you’re trying to find something in a box stored in your attic. You’re pulling out all manner of things, and you find an envelope in your husband’s handwriting marked ” To be opened opened only in the event of my death”. What would you do?  This is exactly the situation facing Cecelia Fitzpatrick. She is busy as usual and puts the envelope and thoughts of it aside.

From the outside looking in Cecelia has it all- married, three girls, a successful  business woman.  Her life is organized, planned and stellar.  And yet, this letter is haunting her, niggling at her, causing her to wonder what’s inside, how long it’s been hidden and what she should do.  This has been compared to Pandora’s box, the dangers of opening it.  Her husband John-Paul had shared a deep, dark secret in his letter to her. A secret he didn’t want to share with anyone until he was dead and gone.  A secret that would change the lives of Cecelia and two other women that she wasn’t really friends with.

Liane Moriarity has written this story of a secret with such finesse and skill that the reader is drawn into the lives of three families.  You keep wondering how this secret will tie them all together, how it can alter their lives.   Cecelia and John-Paul are not really happy, or unhappy, they are just going through the motions, and sex isn’t a part of their routine.  She is not happy with this, but she’s also not certain how to change it.  She is so busy with doing so much for her girls, involved in the school, selling Tupperware, her relationship has gotten away from her.  

What I felt most while reading this book was how even the smallest of choices or actions impact so very many. Keeping a secret is like the omission of truth, or a lie. Lies are such an awful and devastating act of insecurity and guilt. The secret kept in this book is one of great guilt and when it comes out the devastation is like a domino effect….causing havoc in it’s wake.  Each character was well fleshed out, their emotions, their actions and what was going on in their minds.  The three women who capture most of the action in the book are very different, and yet connected. 

This book was on my radar before the She Reads announcement so I couldn’t have been happier to read and share my thoughts. I trust book with the Amy Einhorn imprint, she publishes the best in literary fiction.  What I love is that no one seems to be giving away any of the secret and most are also sharing in positive if not rave reviews.  Please visit She Reads to see more reviews, and a chance to win your own copy of The Husband’s Secret. 

I’ve given this book a 5 out of 5 stars and I’ve already bought another of Moriarty’s older books to read soon.  Visit Liane Moriarty’s website to learn more about her and her books.

8 Responses to “She Reads Book Review: The Husband’s Secret”

  1. Sandy Nawrot

    Yeah I was all over this one and had a hold on the audio even before the announcement. I loved this book! It was much better than The Hypnotist’s Love Story I thought, but not quite up to the standard of What Alice Forgot. She has an amazing talent, this author.

  2. DoingDewey

    I hadn’t heard of this before it became a She Reads choice, but I’m glad we picked it. I loved this one and agree completely about how skilfully it was written! The characters and their emotions seemed very real and I thought the parallel story about the Berlin wall was very literary and clever without making the book unapproachable.

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