Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: General Fiction
Pub Date: July 30, 2013
Feel Learn Wonder Rating: 4/5
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t read a “beach read” in years. The last two books I’ve read on the beach were Beartown and A Place for Us, which both made me awkwardly sob in public. All this to say, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty was not a book I ever would have chosen on my own, but when I friend dropped it off with the note of “in case you need a beach read,” I felt like I should give it a try. True to form, it did feel like an indulgent vacation read, and I might even have to admit that I liked it.
The Husband’s Secret tells the story of three separate families in Sydney, Australia. Rachel is an employee at a local Sydney school, and the mother of a girl who was murdered when she was 17; Tess is the mother of a young boy, and the wife of a man who’s having an affair; and Cecilia is the mother of three children, and married to the husband with a secret. When Cecilia discovers her husband’s secret, these three families become united in a way that none of them will soon forget, and the decision of if everyone should be informed hangs heavily throughout the story.
One thing I see a lot in the book review world is the importance of rating books within their genre – and I think for me it’s particularly important to do that with this book. It didn’t blow my socks off or really teach me anything but it entertained me and kept me engaged wondering what each character would do. In fact, I finished it a few weeks ago, and I’m still thinking about the characters, so to me that’s the sign of a good read.
You may have recognized the author’s name from the best seller and HBO mini series title Big Little Lies – I have to say that going in to this book, I had extremely high expectations for both the complexity of the plot and the size of the twist or revelation at the end based on watching and enjoying that series. After reading this, I can say that I found this book to be similarly complex, but to contain a lot less of the dark undertones that Big Little Lies had. While there were adultery and lies abounding in this novel, nothing as severe as the domestic violence of Big Little Lies occurred in this one. So, on the plus, if you didn’t appreciate that aspect of BLL, this book may be a better alternative for you.
On the whole, I really did enjoy this book. It was fun and light and exciting, and as I mentioned, kept me entertained. I did listen to most of it on audio, and since Moriarty is Australian (and the book is set in Melbourne/Sydney) the narration was done with an Australian accent. That was a big shock to me at first but ultimately I liked it and felt like it added to the atmosphere to hear the characters speaking in the accent they were written to speak in. That may be an odd comment, but definitely something that stuck out to me about the audio version of this title.
If you’re looking for a light “beach read” I’d definitely recommend this one, and if you’ve read it I’d love to hear what you thought! Do you think everyone did the right thing?!
BONUS: I JUST READ THAT THE HUSBAND’S SECRET IS BEING TURNED IN TO A MOVIE, STARRING NONE OTHER THAN BLAKE LIVELY. I CAN’T WAIT!