My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Husband's Secret focuses on three women and their families. The women are connected through St. Angelus elementary: Cecilia's daughter, Polly, attends there, Rachel is the school secretary, and Tess is transferring her son, Liam, to that same catholic school. These women each have an issue in their lives that is troubling them. Tess is going through marital problems, Rachel's son has told her he's moving halfway across the world and taking her only grandchild with him, and Cecilia has discovered a letter from her husband that is to be read only after his death.
The men in the novel are on the outskirts of the lives of the three main women. Cecilia seems to have a solid marriage, although, as the book goes on, she learns she doesn't know John-Paul as well as she thought she did. Rachel has spent years mourning a daughter, Janie, who was murdered when she was in high school. Her grief has kept her at a distance from her son, his fiance, and their child. And Tess learns something about her family that takes her by surprise and rocks her marriage. She keeps her husband, Will, out of her life as much as she can. Tess meets an ex boyfriend at St. Angelus and rekindles her relationship with him. Connor, the ex, is the most well written character among the men, but still not as emotionally clear as any of the three main women.
What makes this book a wonderful thriller, is the way Liane Moriarty reveals facts to some of the characters without revealing them to all. Because we readers know the secrets, we turn the pages in horror as characters act in ignorance. Another technique of Moriarty's is to mix the mundane with the alarming. Between school registration, an Easter hat parade, and planning for a pirate party, Moriarty gives us murder, betrayal, and a steady stream of lies. Once this novel gets going, it's hard to put down.
Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions
View all my reviews