Monday, July 6, 2015

Read All About It: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty


Before I get to my review, here's a brief synopsis of the book from Goodreads

"At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read.
Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive...
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.
Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves."

I read this book for the Dreams, Etc. Book Club. I was a little late to the party because I couldn't get into it at first. But once it finally got going, I really enjoyed it. I really liked how it made you think about how well you know the people in your life. Are you in tune with what's happening around you? It's scary to think what we don't know about those closest to us.



A few discussion questions

1. If you found a letter like this from your husband, would you open it? Would you try talking to him about it first?

My first instinct is to say that I would absolutely open it. That curiosity would get the better of me. But then I think about how I would feel if it was my letter and my husband found it. Sometimes we are better off not knowing things. But then again, I also think leaving a letter like this is kind of cowardly. Why would you want to ruin your spouse's memories of you? The letter would counteract all of the happiness and trust that you had experienced together. They will wonder whether they ever knew you, whether everything you said was a lie. So I guess my answer is: I wouldn't open it. 


2. John-Paul struggles with guilt over the event that he wrote about in his letter. Do you think he wanted the letter to be found? Why would he want this to be his last communication with his family after his death? Why would he want this to come up when he didn't have a chance to explain his actions?

I think John-Paul definitely did not want the letter to be found, at least not while he was alive. He was frantically searching for it when his wife mentions that she found it. Sneaking up to the attic and tearing the place apart trying to find it. I think he was so consumed with guilt and couldn't tell anyone, and so he wrote the letter as a way of admitting it. A safe way, where he could go to his grave without paying for his actions. Like I said, cowardly. 


3. How did you feel about the revelation in the epilogue? 

The epilogue was too sad. It was sort of like a depressing version of "Sliding Doors." Here's what would have happened if this didn't happen, type of thing. Knowing it only makes it more sad and I'm not sure the story needs anymore sadness. 

BUT I did enjoy the book. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. The way the 3 storylines were weaved together really impressed me and helped move the story along. I like how it examined marriages and friendships and made you think whether you really know the people that are in your life and what they are capable of doing. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book: 

* "It was unfortunate the way adults had to repress their feelings."

* "Parties had terrified her. Parties still terrified her. It was the lack of structure, the casualness, the not knowing where to sit." {this is SO me!}

* "Marriage was a warm apple muffin."

* "You could try as hard as you could to imagine someone else's tragedy - but nothing truly hurts until it  happens to you. Most of all, to your child." 

* "Marriage was a form of insanity; love hovering permanently on the edge of aggravation." 


Have you read The Husband's Secret? What did you think? If you found a letter from your spouse to opened only after their death, but they were still alive, would you open it? Share below! 


   
   
   
   
   


6 comments:

  1. It was the book that started my lite obession with Liane Moriarty, since I read The Husband's Secret 2 short months ago, I've read 4 of her other novels. You can see my review at: http://runwright.net/2015/05/13/weekly-reads-wednesday/
    The one thing that I liked about the epilogue was the revelation that the girl would have died anyway. It made the whole thing a little easier to deal with. But the what ifs for the other people, some of them were pretty heart wrenching.

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  2. WellWornSuitcaseJuly 6, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    I think my curiosity would get the best of me, too! Great review, thanks for sharing,

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  3. This is a great review! I loved how you described him, because I never thought to apply that term to his character, but it's so true, he is a coward.


    And that parties quote! That is so me too. :)

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  4. Becca @ How I RollJuly 6, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    This is going into my to-read bookshelf on good reads! Xoxo

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  5. Woop woop!! It's a doozie. But I enjoyed it.

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