Book 11 of my 2014 Reading Challenge.
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Summary (via the book jacket)
My darling Cecilia, if you're reading this , then I've died...
Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive...
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all - she's an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But a letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia - or each other - but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband's secret.
First things first. I would open the letter, no question, no hesitation. It helps that Cecilia isn't like me because she didn't open the letter right away and the first half of the book was spent getting to know the women and trying to guess how they fit together.
The first surprise for me was what the book was actually about. Admit it, you read the summary and think you know the husband's secret. I did the same thing...I read it and would have comfortably bet a large sum of money that the secret was (obviously) infidelity. Guess what? It's not!!
I liked how the seriousness of the story was broken up by humor. For example, one woman had this reaction to finding out her husband was interested in someone else: "We were in the middle of season five of Dexter! How could you break up with me in the middle of season five?"
I was a little thrown by the random references to The Berlin Wall and The Biggest Loser but overall, I enjoyed this unexpected story. I think this could be an interesting book club selection because it's a light(ish) read but has enough moral dilemmas to generate discussion.
Quote from the Book
I loved and identified with Tess and wish I could just quote everything she thought and said. I'll settle for this, her explanation of how social anxiety makes her wary of meeting the moms at her son's new school:
"The chat, chat, chat, the swirls of laughter, the warmth, the friendliness, and the gentle hint of bitchiness that ran beneath it all...she couldn't do it again. Not now. She didn't have the strength. It was like someone cheerfully suggested she run a marathon when she'd just dragged herself out of bed after suffering from the flu."