The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
I read this straight after finally getting myself round to reading The Graduate, which I’d found hard work. The stifling self-aware writing style of Charles Webb had suffocated me a bit. I read The Graduate in one swift day, and it was perhaps interesting and to a 1960s world, clever…but it left me empty. Benjamin frankly needed a slap and to get himself a job. And don’t even start me on Elaine. Thank god for Girl Power.
Anyhoo, following on from that, I decided a bit of reading material with a contemporary voice and storyline was in order, and Liane Moriarty gave it to me in spades.
The Australian voice of Cecelia Fitzpatrick opens the story, and she’s immediately grating. Or so I thought. Plastically perfect, the kind of Head of the PTFA – cupcake providing – embroidered name label – kind of mother that normally incites not altogether pleasant thoughts in this tired, over worked one. So I was ready to be dismissive, thinking this was about to be as engaging and enjoyable as a bikini wax. How wrong I was.
The story is told through the lives of 3 women, Cecilia, Tess and Rachel. Their own stories and secrets intertwine and eventually collide.
The first quarter is wrapped up in the intrigue; what’s the secret? I don’t want to give anything away so I’m deliberately steering clear of the plot here; but needless to say as the secret is revealed, so is so much more. Dealing with profound grief, self doubt, secrets and lies, it immediately sucked me right in and in part, broke my heart for them all.
And actually, it’s not about the husband’s secret. It’s about all the secrets held on to by these three women, and of those in their lives.
It was only when I finished this, close of the heels of watching the brilliant TV adaptation of “Big Little Lies” that I realised it was by the same author. And with hindsight…of course it was…it has the same voice, the same clever crafting of characters that you might think you’re going to really dislike – who eventually are all heroines to the people they love, in their own ways.
I loved this book. Another great page-turner, it won’t be winning Liane Moriarty any prizes for serious literature, but oh I do hope Reese Witherspoon gets her mitts on this one too…
Witty, cleverly observed and sharp, this is definitely one for the sun lounger. And I may have just found myself another favourite author.
* Footnote: despite how absorbing it is, it’s also very, very easy reading ie you can plonk it down every few minutes to deal with bickering/whinging/demanding/hungry/bored small people if necessary. Always a bonus, especially if your summer plans involve a family holiday.