Review of The Husband's Secret

The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's always a crap shoot when you step outside your normal reading genres and so often it only serves as a reminder of why you always stick to the same types of books. But every once in a while, something like this comes along and inspires you to take a few more chances in your literary life. The blurb for the Husband's Secret only mentions one of the four interwoven tales in this book. Cecilia finds a letter addressed "To my Darling wife, to be read only in the event of my death." One could be forgiven for thinking that the letter contains the eponymous secret. But there are many secrets in this books, spread over nearly every character in the book, and they all unfold with an easy grace that masks the skill of Liane Moriarty. Her omniscient narrator is so superbly done as to be seamless and she is one of the few adult authors who has bothered to give the children in the book individual personalities. So often children just serve as props who ejaculate pithy quips every now and again. But here, they all seem real, with all the cuteness and irritation that implies. The women in the book also seem real and every one of them (though quite different from me in most ways) spoke to me and my life experiences. Each of them invites the reader to examine herself and what she would do if, say, she found the letter addressed to Cecilia, or if she were confronted with her husband and cousin's affair, as Tess was. What would the reader do if her teenage daughter was murdered and the only suspect grew up to work in the same office, as happened to Rachel? Though the title inspired me to roll my eyes and mutter something derisive about "chick lit" under my breath, I genuinely enjoyed this and plan to seek out other work by this author.

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