The Husband's Secret is a gripping story about love, deception and how the smallest choice can have the biggest consequences.
From the bestselling author of the hit HBO series Big Little Lies.How well do you know your husband?My Darling CeciliaIf you're reading this, then I've died.Happily married and the mother of beautiful children, Cecilia has the perfect life . . . until she finds the envelope. Written in her husband's hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.
Curious, she opens it - and time stops.John-Paul's letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.Cecilia - betrayed, angry and distraught - wants to do the right thing, but right for who?
If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will destroy her.
But if she reveals her husband's secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .The Husband's Secret is about the things we know, the things we don't, and whether or not we ever get to choose.
Above all, though, it's about how we must live with the consequences of our actions - whether we like it or not. 'The Husband's Secret is a staggeringly brilliant novel.
It is literally unputdownable' Sophie Hannah'The book's finely-wrought tension holds up until the final page' The Telegraph'The writing is beautiful: sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always compelling' Good Housekeeping 'Gripping, acutely observed, thought-provoking and funny' Marie Claire'Captivating' Closer'It's a tense, page-turning story which gradually draws everyone together in a devastating climax.
The writing is insightful on the subjects of families and friends, parents and children, husbands and wives.
But what makes this a great read are the agonising dilemmas the characters face over blame and guilt, forgiveness and retribution, love and betrayal' The Mail on Sunday, You Magazine
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 432 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/08/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781405911665
- EPUB from £3.99
Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.
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Review by nicx27
This is my first Liane Moriarty book and I found it to be an unusual mixture of light-hearted women's fiction with a serious undertone to it. It actually worked really well and I thought this was an excellent read.There are three women at the heart of the story: Cecilia, who finds a letter from her husband that she was only meant to read if he had died; Tess, who has to question her whole life because of what those closest to her have done; and Rachel, who suffered a terrible tragedy and has never got over it. I enjoyed all three stories very much.The mystery of the letter takes a long time to be revealed, and to be honest I'd guessed what it was going to be by the time I read it, but that didn't matter. The characters were well-written and the story contained interesting moral dilemmas that made me think about what I would do in those circumstances. The ending of the book is particularly clever in that respect.I found this to be a page-turner, a nice easy to read story and very enjoyable indeed.
Review by Yogiboo
I did enjoy this book. It kept me interested. Undecided if it was a page turner because it was fast and slow in place. Slightly predictable. I might be getting old but it took me a few seconds to jump from person to person. Liane writes from three peoples perspective throughout the book. Cecilia and Tess sometimes merged into a similar character. I didn't enjoy reading Rachel's view because she was a grumpy old bat most of the time and not a particularly warm character. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I knocked off some marks because the ending is a little cruel to all three women.
Review by rglossne
A fine story of how secrets kept and exposed can change everything in an instant. I listened to this book and really enjoyed it.
Review by brokenangelkisses
Secrets. Everyone has at least one. But would yours destroy your marriage?What's it about?Cecilia finds a letter that isn't meant to be opened. Curious, she reads it, and her heart breaks. Her husband, John-Paul, confesses to a terrible mistake with life-altering consequences. Can Cecilia keep the secret to herself? And if not, what will happen to her family?What's it like?Not quite as advertised. While the blurb focuses exclusively on Cecilia, and the first chapter opens with her sitting gazing at The Letter, the second chapter abruptly introduces us to Tess and her family. Poor Tess is informed by her husband and cousin that they have fallen in love - but not had sex, mind, so really they've been <em>very</em> well-behaved - and want her blessing. By the end of the chapter she's planned her escape from Melbourne to Sydney with her son, Liam. Chapter three introduces Rachel, who's also receiving Bad News: her son and daughter-in-law are moving to New York...with Rachel's only grandchild. Since her husband died and her daughter was murdered, this will leave Rachel all alone.Three chapters introducing three sets of characters...this isn't my preferred way to start a book and if the fourth chapter had introduced another set I might have given up. Fortunately, after this the third-person narration moves back and forth between these three women and so the plot becomes easy to follow - I had simply found the number of characters a little jarring after the singular focus of the blurb and title.By the end of these introductory chapters, it is clear that Moriarty intends these characters to meet, if they haven't already, as she emphasises the connection developing between them. Ironically, of the three women, Cecilia is the only one whose bomb has not yet exploded, perhaps because she possesses the trigger. In fact, it doesn't explode until nearly two hundred pages into a four hundred page story.Sometimes, it is easy to know oneself. If I found a letter from my husband addressed to me, with the caveat 'to be opened only in the event of my death', I'd open it. Obviously, there'd be a moment's hesitation, while I wrestled with feeling that to do so was wrong, but it would only be a short moment. While that admission doesn't paint me in a flattering light, it should explain my frustration with Cecilia, who dithers and procrastinates until almost forced into action.The secret itself is guessable if you're the type who likes to predict plot developments, especially if you consider the characters Moriarty has chosen to focus on. However, I prefer to read 'blind' when not reading critically for work, and would have had no idea what was coming if I hadn't got so frustrated by Cecilia's inaction that I skipped ahead to read the letter. Did I mention that patience isn't always my strong point?(I can read 'What a Busy Baby' to my toddler umpteen times in one day while indulging in the merest hint of a sigh or rueful shake of the head, but make me watch a tediously slow film and I'll criticise it relentlessly until you switch it off in despair.)The characters themselves are convincing, but Tess' story suffers from the compact time-frame of the narrative. The whole story takes place over the course of just one week, so Tess has her heart broken on Monday, but somehow seems rather less sad by Wednesday after meeting up with an ex-boyfriend... A story like hers seemed to need more time and space to grow and develop naturally.In contrast, Cecilia and Rachel's stories work well within the time constraints: there is only so long Cecilia can remain in a state of sheer shock, and Rachel's convictions gather an appalling momentum that hastens the denouement. I found their stories interesting, though I was well aware of the Jodi Picoult-esque focus on 'issues'. (How would you treat your the man you believed murdered your daughter?) However, unlike in some of Picoult's books, the focus here did seem to be on telling a story rather than on examining an Issue.There are some oddities that could irritate readers: the prologue is strange in tone, though utterly fitting for the storyline; sometimes the omniscient narrator steps out in full view and tells the reader strange things (like exactly how many colds Janie would have endured, had she lived); and then there's the ending.The ending is something you'll love or hate. I loathed it. In a final omniscient epilogue, Moriarty's smug narrator looks forward and backward in time and in so doing, completely changes your perception of a key event. (Unless of course, you were paying attention during the book, in which case you could probably predict this too.) When I read this I felt that it undermined everything that had gone before, but in retrospect it develops the central themes in interesting directions.Final thoughtsOverall I enjoyed reading this and would recommend it to fans of chick-lit and relationship dramas. It's worth noting that the title suggests a mystery / crime element but that's not the focus of the book at all. Instead, it explores the harm secrets can do, to individuals and families, especially over time.
Review by Kuroonehalf
The book really lives up to its plot. The reveal of the secret completely shatters the reality of everyone involved and creates an avalanche of disaster and grief that culminates in some good page-turning drama.<br/><br/>However, I had a really big gripe with the way chapters were structured. The way the book works is it's constantly alternating between 3 main characters' points of view/story lines, never straying from this rigid structure. This feels incredibly frustrating when one storyline heats up and then you're forced to cut away from it for a dozen pages and having to sit through currently much less interesting story lines. It felt like I was watching a really good episode of a thriller show on TV and just as things were getting great it cuts to commercial break. It just feels like needless padding and teasing.<br/><br/>I've yet to try Moriarty's other books, but this one left me a bittersweet taste in my mouth.
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