I first read or rather heard a book from Liane Moriarty was when I had downloaded the Big Little Lies. I loved the whole experience of that book, the narration, the way it was structured and how the author had taken an absolutely mundane setting and the painfully normal characters of 4 school moms and created a tight thriller of sorts.
So this time around, when I was ordering books for myself and my diva (the 10-year-old) I found her book ‘The Husband’s Secret’. Obviously, when the book arrived, the husband was surprised and to an extend horrified after reading the title. I usually don’t read chic-lit or anything that does not have a mystery, spies or world-ending conspiracies.
Coming back to our book, I really didn’t know much about the plot or the beginning when I ordered the book. The choice was completely based on my past experience.
Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecelia discover an old envelope in the attic. 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.
My Review of – The Husband’s Secret
The book starts with Liane’s signature style – setting a mundane and absolutely normal setting of a suburban lifestyle. Cecelia even has a line in the book that says ‘Oh! I am just a normal suburban mom. But later as she finds the letter and opens it her whole world is changed forever.
The struggles of accepting her husband’s dark secret, weighing in her options and being torn between doing the right thing and doing what is right for her family is the premise of the book. The book dwells in the lives of Cecelia, Rachel and Tess and their ways to cope with their loss and life’s problems.
I enjoyed the book for the most part and loved the Sydney views that Liane so beautifully creates with her words. However, the end seemed a bit staged for me. I can’t really explain but it kind of gave a feeling that this is how we try and gloss over. It is an attempt to fix things, which kind of felt unrealistic for me. I agree life is stranger than fiction, however here I kind of had a band-aid feeling. Do I have a better ending – No! But then it is just that the current ending is slightly ajar for me.
The writing style is great and I love it when she uses the daily references to build her premise. Though the plot is played out in Sydney, however the suburban lifestyle, the multi-tasking mom, and the school parent experience is the same and very relatable world-over.
All of Liane’s books have a very strong women viewpoint and that is what I like in this. It is the viewpoint of a normal family woman. If she is thrown into extraordinary circumstances, her reactions and her choices is what makes the strength of the stories.
Overall I would recommend this book as a great choice for airport reads or even when on a vacation however I wouldn’t call it a must-have.