Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty : Review

At the heart of The Husband's Secret is a letter that's not meant to be read ...

Mother of three and wife of Jean-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.
Jean-Paul's letter confesses to an act of madness from before he knew Cecilia 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...

Star Rating

I received this book from the publishers for an honest and open review.

Before I start, can we all just take a moment to admire how beautiful this front cover is. Having finished the book (very quickly as I couldn't put it down) the meaning of this image becomes all the more apparent. 'The Husband's Secret' is full of mystery, lies and untold truths that, as the story develops, slowly reveal themselves and the butterfly effect begins. As secrets are released a knock on effect occurs that has devastating consequences for the families involved. 

This story is very clever with three intertwining story lines involving three different families. From the very start the reader is made aware that 'the husband's secret' is going to influence the course of events for all the characters in the book and this provided some terrific plot twists. 

The narrative begins with Celia (mother of three) rooting around in the attic for an old holiday souvenir to share with her daughter. Accidentally knocking over a box of her husband's work documents, "Celia's eye was caught by her own name on a white business envelope. She picked it up and saw that it was John-Paul's handwriting. It said: For my wife, Celia Fitzpatrick, to be opened only in the event of my death." However, it is not until page 144 that Celia finally opens the letter and the butterfly effect begins.  

This story is all about the things we know, the things we don't, and whether or not we ever get to choose. The book explores the consequences of our actions and how, as humans, our insatiable curiosity for knowledge can sometimes have devastating effects. Do we really want to know our loved ones darkest secrets? And once you know, what then?

As Liane Moriarty explains, "Poor, poor Pandora. Nobody tells Pandora a word about the jar. Nobody tells her not to open the jar. Naturally, she opens the jar. 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?"

This was a fantastic story that captured my attention from start to finish. With the three intertwining story lines it was difficult to keep up at first but as the characters developed it became easier to follow. It was interesting to discover how the three families would link and be effected by the revelation of the secrets unfurling. 

Another highly recommended read to all! 



  1. This sounds like a great story. Will definitely be adding it my reading pile. x

  2. I am going to read this for sure. Thank you for the great review! Mina @ Mina's Bookshelf