Monday, August 1, 2016

The Infamous 'What Could Have Been'

"Life sure can surprise you."
--Liane Moriarty, The Husband's Secret
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 416
Publication Date: July 30th, 2013
Source: Copy provided by publisher
Find On:  Goodreads | Amazon
Other Books By This Author: Big Little Lies

My Thoughts

The Belle
After reading and loving BIG LITTLE LIES earlier this year, I knew I wanted to get to all of Liane Moriarty's backlist. My next stop was The Husband's Secret and I was not disappointed. While BLL remains my favorite so far, THS was similar in how engaging it was. Let's break this down...

The Writing
One of the things I love most about Liane Moriarty's books is her writing. It is so fluid and easy to read, I found myself immediately engaged with the story. With her multiple POVs, which I'll get to below, it is so easy to be lost in the story and just keep turning the pages. I found myself eagerly looking forward to the next chapter and what would happen next. She reminds me of Jojo Moyes and Tiffany Reisz in that you just feel surrounded by the story in the most relaxing way. It is true skill of writing that it reads just effortless.

The Characters
As wth her previous books, it is the characters that also kept me wanting more. Focused on Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel, we meet these women and pinnacle points in their lives. Cecilia finds a letter addressed to her from her husband upon the event of his death, Tess if reeling from being told her husband is in love with her cousin, and Rachel is going to be losing her beloved grandchild to NYC when his parents move for her daughter-in-law's job. What they have in common is St Angela's school where Rachel works and Cecilia and Tess' children go. Phew. Moving on.

I loved Cecilia. The Mom that seems to have it all together and she really does...until this letter. I loved her honesty with herself. She struggles with her feelings and decisions and how she feels about the THINGS that happen and I loved how her vulnerability shows. Tess is vulnerability to definition. Her situation completely broke my heart and how she deals with it is incredible. I loved the choices she made and how she tried to recover from this traumatic event in her life. I also really empathized with how angry she was. I seriously hate books where bad things happen to people and they forgive the people that wronged them so quickly. No, no, no mother fucker. Hone that anger. Use it.

The only character I got a little annoyed with was Rachel. While my heart completely went out to her and what happened to her daughter--you'll find out--but it got a little out of control for me. While I can't and don't ever want to imagine her situation, it was hard to relate to her actions sometimes.

The Plot
While I guessed the major secret of the book there were still plot points I NEVER saw coming. I thought the pacing of when we find out what is in the letter and then the aftermath was on point. The fallout and what happens after was engrossing because it was SUCH a brutal situation to be in that it brought a whole other level of depth to the book I didn't anticipate. And the epilogue? Brilliant. Slightly heart-wrenching with a side of melancholy, it really worked. While it wasn't exactly your typical happy ever after, it was real and it was honest and it was raw...basically, it was realistic.

Reserved Seating
If you love effortless writing, great characters, and a good mystery...this book is for you.


  1. This was my first Liane Moriarty book and I was totally blown away by that epilogue. I read Big Little Lies next and somehow predicted the ending, so it wasn't AS great for me. I just love the kind of tension-filled writing she has, where it sometimes goes back and forth in time so you can see the before and after!

    1. Yes, I love that kind of dual timeline too to try and fit the pieces together! I'll admit Big Little LIes is my favorite as it's not as damn depressing as the end of this book can be lol!

  2. Great review, I loved this book too. The epilogue left me reeling!

    1. Crazy, right?! Made me a little sad and also like contemplated all my previous life choices and tragedies :/

  3. I have a Liane Moriarty book currently languishing on my TBR (though I forget which one it is at the moment; curse you, memory!). She sounds like a really good writer, and I'm a big fan of what you had to say about her writing! I definitely plan to check out her stuff before the year ends (at least one, that's the goal), but I'm glad to hear that you've enjoyed this one as well as Big Little Lies :)

    1. Big Little Lies is the one I hope you have!! It's my FAV! This one was good too but a little more downtrodden feeling than BLL


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