When The Husband's Secret arrived in the mail, I hesitated because it looked like chic lit. Finally, I picked it up and started reading. Hmmmm, it had wit and humor. Then, abruptly, the novel turned into much more.
Much more. This is a book that will stay with you; your thoughts will return to it again and again. Moriarty has taken the tropes from chic lit and turned them on their heads.
Cecilia Fitzpatrick is the woman we both admire and disparage. She has a handsome,loving husband and great kids; everything in her life is efficiently organized; she doesn't procrastinate, she achieves; she is kind and thoughtful and always willing to help. While looking for something in the attic, she finds a letter from her husband to be opened on the event of his death, Cecilia does not intend to read it. When she mentions it to her husband, he asks her not to open it. Of course, she does..and her life begins to unravel.
The secret has the potential to affect other lives as well. Morally, ethically...what should Cecilia do?
This is one of those books that requires judicious consideration when writing a review. The strength of the book is the uncertainty throughout and the other "secrets" revealed in the final pages. Human frailties, decisions and indecisions, consequences, possibilities, assessment of guilt, love, regret, and the surprising number of things we don't know as we go about our daily lives--Liane Moriarty gives us insight that we will never really achieve in our own lives, but that will give us pause as we consider all of possibilities involved "between the taking of toast and tea."
Highly recommended! I will definitely be reading more of Liane Moriarty.
My thanks to Penquin Group for sending this ARC.
Contemporary Fiction. 2013. Print version: 416 pages.