Saturday, June 27, 2015

Staff Pick - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret begs the question asked by most every book discussion group - what would you do? What would you do if you were to discover a secret so incredible about your spouse it would surely destroy your marriage and harm your children? What if by keeping the secret you would harm someone else?

The Husband's Secret is set in Australia and examines a few weeks in the  lives of three women who are unknowingly connected by a tragedy that happened decades in the past. Cecilia is the envy of the PTA. She is beautiful, has a handsome and loving husband, three daughters all beautiful and clever, and a thriving Tupperware business. She is the driving force behind her daughters' school and she is the mom who gets everything right. It's a little hard for average flawed reader to relate to Cecilia. One day Cecilia discovers a note from her husband with the instructions "To be opened only in the event of my death".

Perhaps it is easier to find common ground with Tess. Tess, her husband and her cousin run a marketing business, and despite Tess's self-diagnosed social anxiety disorder, they are making a go of it. All is well until one day her husband and cousin announce out of the blue, that they are in love, and Tess realizes how naive and oblivious she has been.

Finally we have Rachel. Rachel suffers silently, feeling excluded by her cool daughter-in-law and devastated by the fact that she and her son are taking Rachel's beloved grandchild to live in New York. Rachel's life was destroyed decades before when her teenage daughter was murdered. The fact that the crime remains unsolved eats away at her, limiting her life and relationships in so many ways.

The Husband's Secret is told from multiple perspectives, each demanding the reader's empathy. I wouldn't describe this as suspense fiction, yet you feel a strain and anxiety as you experience the moral dilemmas faced by the characters.  This novel gives the appearance of being a light read about marriage and relationships, but really asks some very challenging moral and ethical questions.

Secrets and families make for terrific reading. You could also try: of blue thread author:straub mountain

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