Thursday, February 18, 2016

Book Review: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Pages: 396
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Library
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read... My darling Cecilia, If you’re reading this, then I’ve died... Imagine 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 only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine 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, 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. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret."

Cecilia Fitzpatrick appears to have it all. She runs a successful business out of her home, she has a doting husband, and three gorgeous daughters, but her life changes irrevocably when she encounters a letter written by her husband addressed to her to read upon his death. When she talks to him about it, he pleads with her not to read it, but Cecilia can't help but worry about it. It's nothing, right? Then there's Tess who finds out her husband is cheating on her with her cousin, Felicity. Furiously, she moves back home with her mother and enrolls her son, Liam, at her former school.  Being back in her hometown has been an adjustment, especially when she runs into the good looking gym teacher, who just so happens to be her ex-boyfriend.   Lastly, there's Rachel, an older woman who works at the school as a secretary. She lives a sad life though; she has never really gotten over the fact that her daughter was brutally murdered many years ago.  She still thinks the murderer is none other than Connor, the gym teacher at her school.  He was the last person to see her daughter alive.  In Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret, all three women's stories collide expertly and I was desperate to find out the outcome of all three.  

I can't say I overly connected with a particular character, but I was most drawn to Celilia's story in The Husband's Secret. Cecilia is very type A; she runs her own Tupperware company and it's pretty successful. Her daughters are all doing well and her husband, John-Paul, is devoted to her. Or is he? Things lately haven't been oh-so-stellar in the romance department and her girls have reported strange behavior from him.  And there's that letter she found in the attic. The one that is addressed to her and she should read it upon John-Paul's death. She promised him she wouldn't open it, but now she's curious, especially since he seemed so desperate for her to not read it.  What could he have disclosed in this letter? I was dying for Cecilia to open the letter...I just had to know what he was hiding and of course, she finds out. Cue all the drama.

Tess' story was the one I was the least interested in; I wanted her to start over in Sidney, but she sort of latched onto her ex-boyfriend, the town's hottest bachelor.  Plus, her husband and Felicity never really let her go. They keep popping up into her world, which makes it hard to move on.  I felt like her relationship with Felicity was rather toxic. I wanted Tess to get rid of her, but that wasn't the case in The Husband's Secret.

Lastly, there's the story of Rachel and my heart broke for her. After all these years, she has never really found peace regarding what happened to her daughter, Janie. They never found out who brutally murdered her and in turn, Rachel hasn't stopped wondering about it.  She's a sad soul and I wanted some peace for her in The Husband's Secret, but things don't come easily for her at all.

What I liked most about The Husband's Secret is how Moriarity weaved a tale about three women that seem like they don't have anything in common, but somehow are connected by the end of the book.  I liked her references to the Pandora myth as well as the epilogue where she really got me thinking about the many paths in life. Even though this book was a little darker than I expected, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and plan on checking out Big Little Lies next.


  1. I liked this one because of all the twists and it was definitely more complex than What She Forgot. I liked Big Little Lies even more and I hope you will too. I think I connected more with those characters than with the characters in The Husband's Secret. Great review!

    1. I am glad to hear you like Big Little Lies even more...that's going to be my next Moriarty read....definitely want to check it out before the TV show airs on HBO. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  2. OMG WHAT WAS IN THE LETTER CHRISTINA!!!!! I need to know! I definitely would not be able to have a letter like that in the house and not read it. Now I'm beyond curious about this one!

    1. I know, right?! My thoughts exactly, Jenny. Thanks for visiting!

  3. BIG LITTLE LIES is so good! I hope you'll enjoy it. I didn't really enjoy The Husband's Secret....okay, that's a lie. I'm stuck in the midst of reading it. :/

    1. I am excited to check that one out next. You should definitely finish The Husband's gets good! Thanks for visiting, Joy !

  4. It was DEFINITELY a little darker than I'd expected, Christina, but I still enjoyed it. My first Moriarty novel was What Alice Forgot and I absolutely loved it; this one was quite different, for me, but I'm glad I took a chance on it!


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