Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Review: The Husband's Secret
To start off with, the reason I read this book. It's due 100% completely to my intense love for What Alice Forgot and wanting to read every single Liane Moriarty book I can get my hands on. (Fun fact! Liane Moriarty is YA author Jaclyn Morarty's sister.)
So anyway. This book. I liked it. I was seriously invested in it. The epilogue was amazing. But as a whole the story wasn't as great as I was hoping for it to be. I don't quite know how to explain it -- partly I think that some of the characters who were really important to the story (most notably Cecilia's husband, John-Paul) didn't feel real to me. I just didn't care about them all that much; I wanted to know how the story itself ended, but I wasn't hugely invested in the characters. Which, after What Alice Forgot, was disappointing.
But let's get to the actual STORY, shall we? Cecilia Fitzpatrick, ultra-organized mother of three and wife to the golden John-Paul Fitzpatrick, finds a letter from her husband -- to be opened in the event of his death. Overcome with curiosity, Cecilia reads the letter (If she didn't, there would be no story, right?) and finds out the secret her husband is hiding.
Meanwhile, Tess O'Leary has moved back in with her mother while dealing with the fallout from discovering that her husband and cousin/best friend have fallen in love with each other. And then there's Rachel, whose anger and grief over her daughter's death decades ago impacts every aspect of her life. Somehow, of course, you know that all three of these stories are going to come together in the end. I'm not a hundred percent on board with the way these three women's stories finally came together, but it was definitely interesting.
Alright so. I don't know how to not be spoilery with this review. But I'm going to try! I'm going to succeed!
The story itself is really something. I was impatient to find out what was going to happen, but I don't know how earned or true various events in the last third of the book felt. Weirdly, I wanted a lot more from Tess' weird love triangle with her husband and cousin, which was probably the least important part of the book. But I liked Tess; I wanted more from her. I also liked Cecilia. And I have to say this... I hate to say it, but I have to be honest... I did not like Rachel. She felt petty and angry and... I mean, her daughter was MURDERED and that murder was NEVER SOLVED. And I can't imagine that, I have no idea how to even begin to feel what that would feel like. So I hate that I didn't like her, but I didn't. Even pushing her decision at the end of the book aside, she was so oblivious to the feelings of those around her (her completely ignoring her son's grief, for instance) and so mean to her daughter-in-law. She just completely rubbed me the wrong way.
I know this is a crap review. It's hard to talk about this book without talking about the contents of John-Paul's letter, and the ending, and so many more really really interesting-but-spoilery things. I did love the idea that our lives can spiral out in so many different directions that we will never know, as was really brought home in the incredible epilogue, which I think I mentioned earlier.