Book: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, Penguin Audio, July 30, 2013
Book Info: Contemporary Fiction, Audiobook purchase. Running time: 13 hrs. 44 mins. Read by: Caroline Lee. Also available in HC, 416 pages from Amy Einhorn/Putnam.
In The Husband’s Secret we see how fragile life’s relationships are, and how the secrets we keep can tear a family apart. In this book, we follow three women in emotional upheaval whose lives intersect in surprising ways.
Cecilia Fitzpatrick is the stereotypical perfect wife and mother. She runs a successful Tupperware business, has an enviable marriage and 3 lovely daughters, and is the PTA president at her children’s school, St. Angela’s. One day she finds a letter addressed to her from her husband, to be opened upon his death. The catch is he’s still very much alive, and the contents of that letter will shatter their perfect family façade.
Tess O’Leary runs an advertising agency with her husband Will, and her childhood best friend Felicity. Will and Felicity confess that they’ve fallen in love, and Tess takes her and Will’s son Liam to Sydney to stay with her mother, and to attend St. Angela’s.
Rachel Crowley is the school secretary at St. Angela’s, and is grieving her daughter’s death, a murder that took place decades ago. She’s convinced she knows who the murderer is and sets out to prove it.
I picked up this book a few months ago and it didn’t really grab me at first so I put it aside. But I picked it up again and couldn’t put it down. All three stories resonated with me and I was eager to see how they would play out and the characters would impact each other’s lives.
The story makes you think about marital relationships, moral issues, and family dynamics while the mystery at the center impacts everyone involved. It’s a heavy read but not without humor, and I imagine it would make a great book club choice to debate the many ethical issues involved.
I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Caroline Lee. The book is set in Australia, mainly in Sydney, and Lee’s Australian accent made the setting come to life. At first I had trouble telling the three women’s stories apart, but as I got more into the story it was easier to follow. Lee gives each character their own personality and voice and makes you care about their plight. I really looked forward to listening to this one and was sad to see it end.
The Husband’s Secret is a little soapy but is an engrossing read. I’d recommend this as a vacation read or as a book-rut busting change of pace from YA. This is my first read by Liane Moriarty but it won’t be my last.
Here’s an audio clip from The Husband’s Secret performed by Caroline Lee: