Sunday, 18 January 2015

Book Review #2 / The Husbands Secret

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Another week, another book and this week's novel of choice was The Husbands Secret, written by Australian author, Liane Moriarty. Was it, as Sophie Hannah claims on the front cover, "staggeringly brilliant... literally unputdownable"? Perhaps, in parts...

Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband's hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death. Curious she opens it - and time stops. John-Paul's letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others. 

The synopsis of the book drew me in hook, line and sinker and I initially thought the book was just centered around Cecilia who stumbles upon the letter accidentally at the very beginning of the book and is faced with the decision of whether or not to open it.

But the book also follows the lives of two other ladies; Tess and Rachel. Tess, mum of one, who walks out on her husband after finding out he has 'fallen in love' with her cousin, and Rachel, grief stricken over the death of her daughter who was killed around 30 years ago, who faces further upset when her son announces he is moving to New York with her grandson. 

At first, the three women seem to lead completely separate lives but their stories soon become intertwined as the novel progresses. The book switches between each woman's story with each chapter usually ending on a cliffhanger, a technique which left me hungry for more.

For the first half of the book, I was completely gripped. The suspense of Cecilia finding the letter, 
tied in with the drama of Tess' husband's deceit, alongside the mystery surrounding Rachel's daughters death had me hooked. I literally read about 100 pages in an hour as I was so engrossed and eager to find out what was coming next. 

However, my interest did start to slip as the novel went on. I felt there was a lot of unnecessary dialogue and description, at times, and I didn't feel particularly connected to any of the characters - other than maybe Rachel who was the only one I really did want to have a happy ending.

The plot line of the story is good and there's no denying that the first half was a real page turner as it's filled with twists and turns. 

But I think the lack of connection to the characters was the main problem, for me, because I just didn't really care what happened to them, aside from Rachel. 

'The Husbands Secret' is the kind of book which would make for a perfect holiday read as it's one that can easily be read in one sitting and will keep you happily entertained with it's elements of mystery, romance and drama all rolled into one. However, it's not a novel that I'll remember in years to come. 

A good read - but not a thought-provoking, "wow that was amazing", kind of read.  

Have you read 'The Husbands Secret'? What were your thoughts? Any book recommendations for me for the rest of the year?
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