Age group: N/A
Author: Liane Moriarty
Wow I don’t know where to start with this page turner. I read half this book over a period of 3 or 4 days and found myself frustrated when I had to put it down to do life-things. I devoured the second half in one big feeding frenzy that chomped well into the early hours of this morning!
The Husbands Secret follows three narrations telling three initially independent stories which entwine and enmesh with every page. Although there are some elements of the book that in hindsight I don’t really understand – like the significance of the Berlin Wall they add brilliant details that really set the scene of ordinary life before it is fragmented into unrecognisable pieces.
Connor Whitby is the PE teacher at St. Angela’s school and other than being an ordinary middle-aged bachelor, he is also suspected (but never charged or convicted) of murdering young teenage Janie. 20 years later and Connor is still connected to Janie’s murder through the accusing eyes of Rachel – an elderly lady known by all as the mother of that girl who was strangled in the park. Rachel is determined to be a mother to Janie again in the only way that she can – by bringing justice to her death.
My favourite character in this book is Cecilia – an effortless champion of motherhood to three young girls. Not only does Cecilia manage and structure her family life and run a very successful Tupperware company in the time that most people have taken to get out of bed, she is also the domineering extravert of our story who has everything maticulusly under control.. Until she finds an ancient looking letter written in her husbands hand instructing her not to open it unless he was dead. Following Cecilia’s dutiful monologues and spiralling trails of thought that often centre around other peoples expectations this novel thrusts the reader between the raw and believable worried thoughts of Cecilia whose world is being turned upside down as she clings to control and structure to save her as it always had, and the thrill of a wronged woman Tess. Tess is the third character that the story follows. She begins to question the somewhat unconventional nature of her relationship with husband Will and life-long best friend morbidly-obese-Felicity when they announce to her that they are in love. Of course Will never looked at Felicity when she was fat, but new skinny Felicity was a catch that Tess never saw coming. I love the way Tess slowly begins to realise that she had loved having fat outgoing and judgemental Felicity as her sidekick so that she could burry her social anxiety and live life in her BIG-personality. Tess admits to herself that she had even known all along that Felicity was too fat to have a real family of her own and so it was only charitable that she was entwined in everything herself, Will and Liam did. Written and presented in such a powerful way this novel really touches on implicit and unconscious behaviours. Not-so-fat-Felicity and Will seem to think that everything will be okay, they even offer for Tess to move into the spare room and continue to raise Tess and Wills son Liam as the three-way unit they always had.. Only daddy sleeps with aunty Felicity instead. WHAT?! Determined that this was not going to happen to her family and that Liam would not learn to navigate the awkward life of divorced parents like she had done, Tess takes her son back to Sydney while Will and Felicity get their seedy affair out of their system.. Only after just 24 hours in Sydney it seems that it is not only Will who was willing to engage in a seedy affair!
I loved reading this book so much that after reading half of it I ordered two more books written by Moriarty and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into them!
I give this book 4 stars