Genre: Fiction, mystery, chick-lit
Rating: 3 out of 5
From the author of the critically acclaimed What Alice Forgot comes a breakout new novel about the secrets husbands and wives keep from each other.
My Darling Cecilia
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died . . .
Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all – she’s an incredibly successful business woman, 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 devastating secret.
The third book I finished reading in 2014 was this one, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This is the first novel by Moriarty that I have read. I was eager to read this book after having seen images of it everywhere! It was definitely well publicised.
The story follows three women: Rachel, whose daughter died young; Tess, whose husband has decided he is in love with her cousin and Cecilia, whose husband wrote her a letter that she was meant to find after his death. However, she stumbles across it whilst looking for something in the attic, whilst he is still alive. After questioning him about it, she becomes suspicious and reads the letter. What she reads changes everything, not just in her life but also in the lives of Tess and Rachel.
I have to be honest and say I didn’t find this book as good as I hoped it was going to be. I felt it dragged a little bit. I kept checking what page I was on and realising I still had many more to go. The letter isn’t opened until we are about half way through the story, which meant for me, the book did drag a little. It picked up towards the end but what kept me going was firstly wanting to know what the letter said (which didn’t surprise me once the secret was revealed), and then what Cecilia was going to do about it.
I wasn’t hugely bothered by any of the characters. I didn’t find myself warming to any of them, or even empathising with them. I was sorry that Rachel lost her daughter, but she neglected her son and moaned about her daughter-in-law. Tess decided to seek revenge on her husband and ended up with a dark secret – I didn’t like that either. Cecilia was my favourite out of the three, but I don’t think she made great choices and I found her hard to warm up to.
I wasn’t hugely happy with the way Moriarty concluded the book either. I liked that she made a point to wrap everything up, but the way she wrapped things up seemed like an easy way out. I felt like she undid the whole story in just a few concluding pages.
I feel like I’ve been quite harsh in this review. The truth is, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. The mystery kept me reading until it was revealed and the reaction kept me reading to the last page. This isn’t a bad book. I was entertained. I did read all of it – I am quick to put down a book I don’t enjoy. It just didn’t live up to the high standards I had set it and that is why I am rating it 3 out of 5.
Another review of The Husband’s Secret can be found here.