Author: Liane Moriarty
I have been thinking about how to approach this review since finishing the book yesterday and I’m still not quite sure, this book literally blew me away.
The Husband’s Secret was in part inspired by an article about deathbed confessions so there are lots of deep, dark hidden secrets. Throughout the story we find out all the secrets but Moriarty plays beautifully on the suspense of whether or not these secrets will stay secret, or whether someone will ensure they come to light.
There is something for everyone in this book, I feel like I’m saying that a bit lately and maybe I am but The Husband’s Secret has suspense, it has intrigue, betrayal and romance but what it also has; and what I found made me fall in love with it the most was the What if factor. There are few variations on the what if factor and Moriarty has brought more than one of them into play here. First there’s the what ifs for the characters, what if this happened instead of that which is quite bittersweet at times when you think of the parallel lives that could have taken place with the happily ever afters instead of the tragedy. There is also the what ifs that have you, the reader, putting yourself in those shoes and wondering what you would do if you found yourself in these situations.
Sometimes I like to read a book that has a great escapism factor, and if that’s what you’re after then you should save this one for another day. Moriarty will get you thinking, right from early on, and she won’t let you stop thinking until long after you have turned the last page.
The Husband’s Secret is written with seamless flow, we change perspective throughout the book but because it’s written in the third person it’s still relatively easy to keep straight. The cast of characters is intertwined much more tightly than it seems in the beginning which I really like, I like unraveling how the cast fits together because often in the beginning there are characters that just seem to fill a hole rather than serve a purpose.
Characters were lovable, and loathe-able, in almost equal measures but most of them stirred empathy – whether you wanted them to or not in some cases. I found some characters to be quite stereotypical but there were also some that were quite surprising. Cecilia almost seemed to be the ‘Supermum’ juggling it all with ease, totally in control. You know, the mum we all wish we could be some days. Until we take a closer look and it almost seems like she could be suffering OCD or something similar and when things divert from their plotted course she doesn’t seem to have the requisite flexibility.
There was something relatable in many of these characters, traits that we recognise because they are our own or those around us. The fact that they were so relatable makes it ever so much more surprising when an unexpected twist arises.
Moriarty kept me guessing but she also kept me thinking, she kept throwing me into those shoes and had me wondering where I would walk them. Which isn’t always a good thing, but I made sure it had no effect on my view of the book.
Moriarty, this may be our first meeting but I’m sure it won’t be our last. And now I’m really looking forward to getting the answers back to my interview questions.