by Liane Moriarty
This book marks a first for me – the first I have read set in Australia! As firsts go, maybe not a very exciting one, but a surprising one as I soon realise that I don’t think I have read anything by an Australian author before. Not that any of that has any relevance to the book itself, it’s just a small aside from me.
So, what about the book? Well, when I first looked at the synopsis I was interested enough to get started, but not expecting too much from it. Which just goes to show you can’t judge a book by its blurb (or something like that anyway). From the start I was hooked and unable to put the book down. The plot is unique (at least to me).
Whilst helping her daughter with a project on the Berlin Wall, Cecilia Fitzpatrick comes across an old envelope with, written in her husband’s handwriting, the message “to be opened only in the event of my death”.
With her husband John Paul away on business, Cecelia is faced with a choice. She can either open the envelope and face what it contains, or return it unopened and try to forget it. What would you do in that situation? After much consideration, Cecilia decides to open the letter at which point her whole world begins to fall apart around her. Everything she thought she knew about her husband and their past is now in doubt. As is their future.
But Cecilia and her family are not the ones effected by the secrets contained in that letter. Events conspire to bring all the protagonists together and Cecilia finds herself at the centre of a 30 year old mystery.
“The Husband’s Secret” is a compelling, witty, dark and very emotional story that kept me glued to the pages right to the very end. The climax of the story is both heart warning and tragic, but in some ways, the only way it could have ended.
One unusual feature of the book is that the reader gets a short update on what happens to the main characters after events of the book have finished.
Not only did I find this a great read, but it made me think about my own family, and to what lengths I would be prepared to go to preserve its integrity. Does the love you feel for your spouse and children over ride a sense of justice? Could you really watch someone else suffer terrible pain and heartache just so you can keep your own family unit intact? These are the questions faced by Cecilia and the way she deals with them makes thought provoking reading.
A really excellent book.