The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

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9781742613949

Kindle Edition, 394 pages

Published: July 30, 2013 by Putnam (1st published 2013)

Setting: Australia

Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Nominee for Fiction (2013)

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My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . .

Cecelia stumbles upon this letter in the attic. Her husband John-Paul assures her it’s nothing important, but he rushes back from a business trip in an abortive attempt to dispose of the letter.

Meanwhile, in another city, Tess — a shy, self-possessed young mother — gets devastating news from her husband. And shattered by the unsolved murder of her daughter, 28 years ago, Rachel is facing another unexpected loss.

Throughout the book, Cecelia’s 10-year-old daughter Esther is immersed in learning about the Berlin Wall. And Liane Moriarty tells an intricately interwoven story, focused on Cecelia, Tess, and Rachel, about the walls we build around ourselves through shyness, perfectionism, or debilitating grief. It is also about the secrets we keep and the ripple effect of our choices on people’s lives.

I discovered this author through an online friend, and now I want to read everything she has written. When delving into one of her novels, I find that it feels a bit like light “chick lit,” which almost puts me off reading the book. But Moriarty isn’t afraid to explore dark areas — which she does with sensitivity and gentle humor — and her books are beautifully written and thematically rich.

She is skilled at illuminating the unique struggles of “ordinary” people and translating complex, messy emotions into print. This is also a page turner –witty, engrossing, and enjoyable. It is a solid choice for people who enjoy popular fiction and character-driven novels.

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