Title: The Husband’s Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Three women: Cecilia, Rachel, and Tess. They know of each other, but aren’t necessarily friends, but something that no one could have predicted will bring them together. Cecilia is a model wife and mother, a pillar of her community. She loves her life, but when she stumbles upon a letter from her husband that instructs her to open it in the event of his death, she doesn’t know that if she opens it, it will change everything. Rachel works at the school that Cecilia’s children attend, and her world is shattered when her son announces that they are moving—with Rachel’s beloved young grandson—halfway across the world. She’s lost so much already, as her daughter was murdered when she was seventeen, and now this. And Tess is blindsided when her husband reveals an awful secret and moves back home with their son. These three women will change one another in ways no one could possibly know.
Liane Moriarty’s novels are always great to turn to for smart, yet light, summer reads, so I was excited to open The Husband’s Secret. I knew that these disparate women would somehow be connected, and of course, I immediately started guessing as to how that could be. But I will give Moriarty credit—she managed to surprise me completely, and I appreciated the creativity that went into the premise of this novel. It sucks you in quickly, and with one shocking revelation and twist after another, it’ll keep you hooked until the very end.
All three of these women in The Husband’s Secret are very well written. Readers will be able to sympathize with each one. Tess’s connection to the storyline feels a little peripheral; she’s not quite as intertwined in the plot as the other two are, so while it seems a little strange sometimes, it’s easy to get over because readers will love her character. Cecilia seems perfect on the outside, so it would be easy to make her a caricature, but Moriarty doesn’t do that. Even as she tries to keep up appearances, she’s falling apart on the inside and doesn’t know how to handle it. Rachel seems like a bit of a curmudgeon, but the truth is she’s still in so much pain from her daughter’s murder that she hasn’t been able to let go and enjoy life. These three women change one another, and it’s great to see how that happens.
If you’re looking for a novel filled to the brim with smart, capable women, then you must pick up The Husband’s Secret. It’s a bit lighter than Moriarty’s previous books, but that makes it great for an easy summer read that still has some depth. Moriarty poses thought-provoking questions about conscience and the meaning of betrayal, as well as the nature and necessity of confessions. It’s so interesting to think about; book clubs should definitely have this absorbing read on their lists.
Other books by Liane Moriarty: