Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Title: The Husband’s Secret

Author: Liane Moriarty

Published: Pan Macmillan April 2013

Read an excerpt

Status: Read from March 31 to April 01, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

I am a huge fan of Liane Moriarty and I have enjoyed every single one of her novels, most recently What Alice Forgot and The Hypnotist’s Love Story. The Husband’s Secret is her fifth adult fiction novel and for me, her best yet.

“For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick
To be opened only in the event of my death”

She found the envelope amongst a stack of old tax records and imagined it contained a sentimental message, given it was dated just a few days after the birth of their first child, fifteen years ago. Cecilia has no idea that the letter will blow her world apart.

The story of The Husband’s Secret unfolds from the third person perspectives of three women, Cecilia, Tess and Rachel. At first the connections between these women are peripheral but the secret Jon-Paul has been keeping for decades will change them all.

Cecilia has been married to John-Paul for fifteen years, they have three bright and beautiful daughters and a busy, happy life. Cecilia is the P&C president, a successful Tupperware host and her neat and orderly world is shattered when her husband returns early from a business trip.
Tess is devastated when her husband announces he has fallen in love with her best friend, cousin and business partner, Felicity. Her only thought is to escape and she abandons her life in Sydney to return to her childhood home. Tess isn’t interested in renewing old friendships but finds she can’t resist the attentions of an old flame.
Every day is an effort for Rachel. It is only the presence of her toddler grandson that relieves the grief that has haunted her since her teenage daughter was murdered more than twenty years ago, and now her son and his wife are moving to New York. Bereft, Rachel renews her obsession with the man she suspects murdered her daughter, a man that teaches at the school where she is a secretary, a man she is convinced is really a monster.

With consummate skill, Moriarty winds her way through a minefield of moral ambiguity as her story explores the very personal implications of choosing between right and wrong. I’m desperate to avoid spoilers so I can say little except that the author challenges the simplistic notions of guilt, of punishment, of justice and redemption.

The Husband’s Secret is so successful in large part because of Moriarty’s wonderfully crafted characters. The everyday rhythms of their lives render these complex women familiar somehow and I quickly became invested in their fate. As a mother myself I understood each women’s concerns about protecting their children and I empathised with them as they struggled to decide how best to do so.

The Husband’s Secret is a compelling, thought provoking novel, inspired by an article about real life deathbed confessions and their surprising consequences. An intriguing examination of conscience, love, betrayal and forgiveness this novel will stay with you well after the last page has been turned.

Available To Purchase

@Pan Macmillan I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

Available for Preorder for the US @Amazon I @BookDepository

US Cover



12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca James
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 17:33:01

    Ooh. Can’t wait for this one. Great review, Shelleyrae.



  2. Michelle Walker
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 17:36:48

    Great review Shelleyrae, I loved this book. It was my first Moriarty but I am determined it won’t be my last.
    But you’re right, very hard to review without spoilers. 🙂



  3. writenote1
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 19:10:14

    I enjoyed this book too. I’m hoping to read more of Liane’s books … when I have time.



  4. Teddyree
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 20:34:01

    Absolutely my type of read, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this one. The Moriarty sisters are a talented bunch 🙂



  5. Mystica
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 22:19:10

    I’d really love to get my hands on this one.



  6. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 07:01:16

    I’m looking forward to reading this one. Great review!



  7. panmacaus
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 09:52:06

    Shelleyrae, just wanted to let you know that we’ve got reading group notes up on our site for this one in case any of your readers (or you) are interested – huge spoiler warning though! Cheers – Hayley at Pan Mac



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