The Husband's SecretBook - 2013
One of the Best Books of the Year -- Entertainment Weekly
One of the Top Ten Books of the Year -- People magazine
"It's a knowing, touching, and entertaining page-turner. What a wonderful writer--smart, wise, funny." --Anne Lamott
" The Husband's Secret is so good, you won't be able to keep it to yourself." -- USA Today
"Shocking, complex and thought-provoking, this is a story reading groups will devour. A knockout!" --Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author
"Emotionally astute, immensely smart, and as cinematically plotted as any Tom Perrotta Novel destined for critical accolades and a big-screen adaptation." -- Entertainment Weekly
"A novel that's perfect for vacation reading." -- People
"Brilliant." --Sophia Hannah, international bestselling author of The Wrong Mother
At the heart of The Husband's Secret is a letter that's not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you're reading this, then I've died. . .
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.
Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses--and, ultimately, ourselves.
From the critics
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There are 3 casts of characters in this book, each with their own story, but Moriarty starts weaving them together about midway through. I had some difficulty keeping track of the kids and who they belonged to. Nevertheless, the theme of secrets prevails. When Cecelia discovers a letter in which her husband confesses to a murder he committed as a teenager, life changes for everyone. His secret will haunt not only him, but the whole cast of characters. If only he had confessed right away!
It is hard to summarize this book without giving away "the secret" but it takes place in Australia and involves the intersecting lives of three women and their families. Amazing revelations near the end!
From the 7/26/2013 Entertainment Weekly review by Leah Greenblatt:
"There's a telltale heart in Cecilia Fitzpatrick's house, but it's not beating beneath the floorboards. It's lodged in a dusty box in the attic, inside a sealed envelope addressed to her in her husband's handwriting and labeled To be opened only in the event of my death.
"Does Cecilia, a generally happy Australian housewife with three young daughters and a booming sideline in Tupperware sales, shrug and put the letter back where she found it? Because this book's title, The Husband's Secret, is what it is (and because human nature is what it is), you know the answer, dear reader: She does not. And it's a credit to the author, probably best known for her 2010 book-club favorite What Alice Forgot, that the secret hits as hard as it does when it's finally revealed more than 150 pages in. Despite its awkwardly soapy title and pink-petaled cover, The Husband's Secret is a sharp, thoughtful read — a sneaky sort of wolf in chick-lit clothing. It's also darker and less whimsical than the twinkly, rom-comish Alice. Liane Moriarty weaves Cecilia's story in with those of two other women in crisis: Tess, a Melbourne marketing exec reeling from a suddenly broken marriage, and Rachel, a widow haunted by the unsolved murder of her teenage daughter more than 25 years earlier.
"But Secret isn't all Down Under noir, either; even as these three women's lives are blown apart, they still have jobs and families and mostly intact senses of humor, and they carry on. When Tess' husband tells her that he's fallen in love with her cousin, who is also her best friend, she can't help thinking how much he looks like her 6-year-old begging for a contraband cookie. ('' 'Please, Mum, I want that sugary treat with all the preservatives and the cleverly branded packaging and I know I promised I wouldn't ask for anything but I want it.' '') The beseeching eyes are the same: '' 'Please, Tess, I want your delicious-looking cousin and I know I promised to be true to you in good times and bad, in sickness and health, but pleeeease.' '' Moriarty ultimately can't resist wrapping up her story lines with a bow that will probably feel too shiny and pink-petal neat for some. But you don't need a husband or a secret to feel for her characters' very real moral quandaries, and to want that shiny bow for them a little bit, too."
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