Release Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: Penguin | Putnam
Pages: 416 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Kindle ebook
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Y'all, I am so excited to introduce The Favorite Factor to you today! Cassie and I were chatting about our love for adult fiction, and we wanted to figure out a way to really highlight that love with a new feature. So, we will be bringing you adult fiction reviews with a TWIST where we highlight five factors:
- The Frame - Setting
- The Flow - Plot
- The Faces - Characters
- The Function - Writing Overall
- The Feelings - Relationships
Each of our posts will highlight our own thoughts on each of the five factors, so you can see side-by-side how our opinions stack up. Then, it all culminates in The Finale where we jointly share our overall feelings on the book with a rating that helps you find out this book factors into our favorites pile.
The Husband's Secret is set in Australia, which is a place I've never been but would LOVE to visit. Despite being set in Australia, the country itself never plays a huge role in the story. It wasn't a standout feature in this book, but not in a bad way. I did love the moments when I'd notice an Australian phrase or two.
The majority of this book takes place in homes, the school, the park, etc. I loved that the home felt private - each woman's home was different and unique to her family - and that the other places felt communal. Even when the book focused on one person's perspective, I still felt aware of the world going on around them and the way the other women interacted with it.
The pacing is this book was spot-on! The book is told from the perspective of three women - Tess, Rachel and Cecilia. I'm always hesitant to pick up a book with so many perspectives because they sometimes don't all work. In some cases, it's because I prefer one character over another. In others, it's because the flow of the book loses steam or goes off course with one of the perspectives. Thankfully, that never happened in this book. I felt like the tension just kept building as the chapters progressed. I wanted to find out the husband's secret, but I was also dying to find out how all these women were connected!
I think this book's strongest factor was in the characters. They're all so different, and they're also realistic. They aren't perfect - they have obvious flaws, weaknesses, and things that they are hiding. While the three woman are the main focus, there are also some male characters and children that play a role. I was so interested in them all! Well, maybe not them ALL, but still. No two people are alike, and it's interesting to see their decision-making processes. Since the structure was so dependent on the three characters, it was absolutely vital that you were intrigued by each one. Thankfully, Moriarty definitely succeeded there!
There's a lot happening in The Husband's Secret, but there are also a lot of a simple, everyday moments, too. For a book that hinges on a "secret," it never felt melodramatic or over-the-top. I thought the things that occurred made sense in the context of the world and characters that Moriarty had built.
One of my favorite things about this book is the over-arching theme behind it. Moriarity constructs a story that hints at what could have been, that talks about the possibilities, and explains how one action, one moment, one tiny decision can have a ripple effect on everything around you. The secret in this book isn't just the husband's - it's also about the things that might have happened that never did and will always remain an unknown.
I also liked some of the musings or reflections in the book. For example, I particularly liked this quote: "It wasn't logical, but the better you knew someone, the more blurry they became. The accumulation of facts made them disappear. It was more interesting wondering if someone did or didn't like country music than knowing one way or the other."
There are some good feelings and relationships in The Husband's Secret, for sure! I particularly loved how complicated each relationship was in this book. There are secrets, unspoken wishes, hurt feelings, fading desire, a parent's love... I loved that were so many kinds of relationships in this book! It's got the love of a mother for her child, the tension between a mother and daughter-in-law, unhealthy friendship, and complicated marriages. I mean, do you see how many things Moriarty highlights in this book? I loved the peek into each of these characters' worlds and their feelings for and interaction with the people who inhabit that world.
Cassie: So Hannah, what did you think overall about The Husband's Secret?
Me: Overall, I was REALLY pleased with this read! From the interesting characters to the desire to find out the husband's secret, I was hooked from the first page. I was really glad we chose this as our first read! What about you?
Cassie: I gotta say, I agree! To be honest, I hadn't heard much about it other than you mentioning it to me! But each storyline was so engrossing I couldn't wait to read more!
Me: Exactly! I don't always like having multiple perspectives in a book, but I felt like each character was so well-drawn and different from one another that it just made the book stronger.
Cassie: Totally agree! I'm super glad we read this one, and while not an ALL TIME favorite I would definitely recommend it to tons of contemporary fans!
Me: I would definitely recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction! Was there anything that kept it from being a favorite for you?
Cassie: Hmmm... you know, there's not! I adored the epilogue [OMG, nuts!] but my absolute favorites are the ones with staying power, those that leave a lasting impression and I take something from it. This didn't have THAT factor, so I guess that's why it's not an all-time favorite.
Me: I was going to say the same thing! There wasn't anything I disliked or that bothered me in this book, but it also didn't have a big personal impact on me. My all-time favorites are the ones that are so memorable and personal to me that I know I'll want to re-read them, and that's the only thing I think was missing from this book.
Cassie: Well, that I also agree with! I can't wait for next month's pick...
Me: Me too! I'm really excited about reading more adult fiction with you. I would also like to point out that this book is currently less than $6 for Kindles soooo...
Cassie: So get off your butts and BUY IT!
Me: WHAT CASSIE SAID!
- The Consensus -
Don't forget to go check out Cassie's thoughts!