THE HUSBAND’S SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY
PENGUIN (PAPERBACK), 2013
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
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.
Cecilia – betrayed, angry and distraught – wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .
Poor, poor Pandora. Zeus sends her off to marry Epimetheus, a not especially bright man she’s never even met, along with a mysterious covered jar. Nobody tells Pandora a word about the jar. Naturally, she opens the jar. What else has she got to do? How was she to know that all those dreadful ills would go whooshing out to plague mankind forever more, and that the only thing left in the jar would be hope? Why wasn’t there a warning label?
WHAT I THOUGHT
The Husband’s Secret is a great thriller. The pacing of the novel is perfect. The secret in question isn’t revealed until you’ve read a fairly large chunk of the book had been read. The suspense and tension leading up to this is well played. By the time Cecilia actually opens the letter I was climbing the walls. Moriarty gets it spot on every time. The characters are excellent, well written, painfully real and unbearably human. I managed to feel sympathy for the villain in the story because Mortiarty does such a good job of making the characters sympathetic. I thought the plot was excellent. I could easily imagine myself in Cecilia’s shoes. If you found a letter from your very much alive loved one declaring it had only to be opened when they were dead would you open it? Of course you would. It’s human nature. Pandora always opens the damn box. I liked the way the different characters and stories blended together. I didn’t love the ending but it made perfect sense in the context of the book. I loved the epilogue that offered a little glimpse into what could have happened to several characters if different choices had been made or different paths taken.