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The Husband's Secret
Cover of The Husband's Secret
The Husband's Secret
Borrow Borrow
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF BIG LITTLE LIES.
One of the Best Books of the Year—Entertainment Weekly
One of the Top Ten Books of the Year—People magazine

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

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 small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that 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.
Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF BIG LITTLE LIES.
One of the Best Books of the Year—Entertainment Weekly
One of the Top Ten Books of the Year—People magazine

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

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 small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that 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.
Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

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  • From the book

    PRAISE FOR THE HUSBAND'S SECRET

    "In The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty has created a contemporary Pandora whose dilemma is spellbinding. Shocking, complex, and thought-provoking, this is a story reading groups will devour. A knockout!"

    —Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author

    "Brilliant."

    —Sophie Hannah, international bestselling author

    "I really enjoyed The Husband's Secret, and raced right through it in two days. It's a knowing, touching, and entertaining page-turner. What a wonderful writer—smart, wise, funny."

    —Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author

    "A novel that's perfect for vacation reading: There's humor, suspense, a circle of appealing women whose dilemmas intersect with Cecilia's . . ."

    People

    "Liane Moriarty is far more than the skillful writer of potboilers. Her compelling characters could be your friends and neighbors, nice and neurotic in equal doses . . . Amid three intertwined storylines and terrific plot twists, Moriarty presents a nuanced and moving portrait of the meaning of love, both marital and familial, and how life can hinge on a misunderstanding or a decision made in haste. The Husband's Secret is so good, you won't be able to keep it to yourself."

    USA Today

    "Reading groups rejoice. This meaty novel from the bestselling author will probably land on many must-read lists."

    Dallas–Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    "A smart, thoughtful read . . . [a] lip-smacking and intelligently written novel."

    Entertainment Weekly

    "Moriarty may be an edgier, more provocative, and bolder successor to Maeve Binchy."

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    "At first, this reviewer wanted to warn readers not to be taken in by the light tone of Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret. On second thought, maybe readers should let this rather crafty novelist's deceptive breeziness and humor sweep them along. It makes the shocks just that much more deliciously nasty, including the gob-smacking twist in the epilogue . . . The genius of The Husband's Secret is that it makes us start to wonder what in our own lives would—or would not—have happened if, say, we had waited just fi ve more minutes before we walked out the door, had not said that hurtful thing, had applied a bit of logic to that situation."

    BookPage

    "Secrets can be sinister; they can eat you alive. But they can also set you free. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty demonstrates this power with one of the most entertaining stories I have read in ages. Perfect for book clubs—lots to debate in these pages. I just loved it."

    —Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author

    "This great summer read is hard to put down."

    Library Journal

    "A provocative page-turner . . ."

    Woman's World

    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. Nobody tells her not to open 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 forevermore, and that the only thing left in the jar would be hope? Why wasn't there a warning label? And then everyone's like, Oh, Pandora. Where's your willpower? You were told not to open that box, you snoopy girl,...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 10, 2013
    Australian author Moriarty, in her fifth novel (after The Hypnotist’s Love Story), puts three women in an impossible situation and doesn’t cut them any slack. Cecilia Fitzpatrick lives to be perfect: a perfect marriage, three perfect daughters, and a perfectly organized life. Then she finds a letter from her husband, John-Paul, to be opened only in the event of his death. She opens it anyway, and everything she believed is thrown into doubt. Meanwhile, Tess O’Leary’s husband, Will, and her cousin and best friend, Felicity, confess they’ve fallen in love, so Tess takes her young son, Liam, and goes to Sydney to live with her mother. There she meets up with an old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, while enrolling Liam in St. Angela’s Primary School, where Cecilia is the star mother. Rachel Crowley, the school secretary, believes that Connor, St. Angela’s PE teacher, is the man who, nearly three decades before, got away with murdering her daughter—a daughter for whom she is still grieving. Simultaneously a page-turner and a book one has to put down occasionally to think about and absorb, Moriarty’s novel challenges the reader as well as her characters, but in the best possible way. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    There are more than enough secrets to go around in the intertwining lives of three women connected to a Catholic elementary school in Sidney. Australian Moriarty (The Hypnotist's Love Story, 2012, etc.) experiments with the intersection of comedy and tragedy in her slyly ambitious consideration of secrecy, temptation, guilt and human beings' general imperfection. Superorganized, always-on-the-go Cecilia is a devoted mother who constantly volunteers at her daughters' school while running a thriving Tupperware business. Not quite as perkily perfect as she seems, 40-year-old Cecilia yearns for some drama in her life. Then, she finds a sealed envelope from her husband that is to be opened only in the event of his death. John-Paul is very much alive, but the temptation to read the contents is understandably strong. Once she does, she can't erase the secrets revealed. Meanwhile, in Melbourne, 30-something Tess' husband breaks the news that he's fallen in love with Tess' first cousin/best friend/business partner. Furious, Tess moves to her mother's house in Sydney. Enrolling her 6-year-old son at St. Angela's, Tess runs into former lover Connor and sparks re-ignite. Formerly an accountant, Connor is now the school's hunky gym coach and is crushed on by students, teachers and parents like Cecilia. One holdout from the general adoration is widowed school secretary Rachel. Connor was the last person to see her 17-year-old daughter Janie before Janie was strangled in 1984. Still grief-stricken and haunted by a belief that she could have prevented Janie's death if she hadn't been 15 minutes late to pick her up, Rachel is increasingly convinced Connor is the murderer. As the women confront the past and make hard decisions about their futures (the novel's men are pale and passive), their fates collide in unexpected ways. Moriarty may be an edgier, more provocative and bolder successor to Maeve Binchy. There is real darkness here, but it is offset by the author's natural wit--she weaves in the Pandora myth and a history of the Berlin Wall--and irrepressible goodwill toward her characters. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2013

    Cecilia is leading the perfect suburban life. She's the envy of other school mothers, and she managed to marry one of the handsome Fitzpatrick boys. While her husband is away on a business trip, Cecilia accidentally finds a note to be opened in the event of his death. His alarmed reaction to her discovery and immediate early return from his trip pique Cecilia's curiosity, and she opens the letter. A secret from her husband's past is about to bring her perfectly sculpted world crumbling down. Weaving allusions to the Berlin Wall throughout, Moriarty (What Alice Forgot) shows how Cecilia struggles to live her life as she did before the secret burdened her marriage--like those Berliners who attempted normalcy after the infamous wall went up/came down. A simple confession of the truth can simultaneously shatter many different worlds. The secret creates a ripple effect in Cecilia's community, involving more and more people and families. VERDICT Moriarty examines the ease with which darkness can spread into relationships. Weaving stories from multiple perspectives keeps this one interesting all while leaving the reader wondering what will happen next. This great summer read is hard to put down.--Brooke Bolton, North Manchester P.L., IN

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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