02 August 2013

Imprint Friday: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret by Liane MoriartyWelcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

Australian author Liane Moriarty has a reputation for writing smart books featuring realistic, contemporary women. When I heard Amy Einhorn had acquired a new Moriarty novel, I couldn't wait to read it. The Husband's Secret, out just this week, lived up to my expectations.

Here's the publisher's summary:

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.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.
Moriarity builds the tension exquisitely slowly, as the novel switches among the stories of the three women, who are only loosely united by their church and local parochial school. As we get to know them, waiting for the moment when Cecilia will no longer be able to resist reading her husband's letter, our loyalties shift and sway. We have so much to try to put together: What's in the letter? How are these women's lives going to converge? Can there be a happy or peaceful ending for any of them?

Because The Husband's Secret most obviously refers to John-Paul Fitzpatrick, Cecilia and her family grab the majority of our attention. But Tess's and Rachel's husbands also have secrets, and their stories tug at us too. Rachel, still grieving over the murder of her seventeen-year-old daughter decades earlier, wins our sympathy—not because she is a sad case but because she tries so desperately to keep her daughter's memory alive, even though very few of her friends feel comfortable talking about Janie. I found Tess to be the most distant of the three women, but her actions after her husband makes his confession (almost as soon as we meet him) are understandable and mostly reasonable.

One interesting device Moriarity employs in the novel is what I think of as "what-if interludes." These take on several different forms, including Rachel's imaginings of Janie's life if she had lived, Cecilia's thoughts about what might be in her husband's letter, and the novel's epilogue that ties together many of the characters. Who hasn't indulged in what-ifs?

Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret touches on the themes of betrayal, loss, secrets, moving on, forgiveness, acceptance, motherhood, marriage, and fate. With such realistic characters and believable situations, the book will be a sure winner for book clubs around the world. Besides the topics I've just listed, the most discussed question might be the one Cecilia asks herself in the first chapter: Should she open that letter? Would you?

To learn more about Liane Moriarty, visit her website, where you can read the first chapter, discover the inspiration behind the novel (it indirectly involves the Loch Ness monster!), and download a reading guide. Don't forget to check out her blog and subscribe to her newsletter.

Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.

Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, July 30, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780399159343
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Sandy Nawrot 8/2/13, 7:01 AM  

I'm pretty excited about this one. I absolutely LOVED What Alice Forgot, and while The Hypnotist's Love Story wasn't as big a hit with me, she has wonderful insights into a woman's soul. I have just loaded this on my iPod and is #2 in line!

bermudaonion 8/2/13, 7:54 AM  

I loved What Alice Forgot too so I'm excited about this book. I'm not sure about the letter but my first inclination would be to open it.

kelly 8/2/13, 9:12 AM  

This sounds like such a great premise. Can't wait to read this book -- and learn from it!

Beth Hoffman 8/2/13, 10:28 AM  

I like a novel that has a healthy sprinkling of what-ifs!

Darlene 8/2/13, 1:00 PM  

Like others I enjoyed What Alice Forgot and am really looking forward to this one!

Alison Skap 8/2/13, 2:08 PM  

I reviewed this book today as well! I loved the tension in this book. I have not yet read What Alice Forgot, but after reading The Husband's Secret, it's on my list!

Belle Read 8/2/13, 9:38 PM  

I am reading my way through the Amy Einhorn published books and have had this on my wishlist for awhile. I never noticed that this book was published by Amy Einhorn. Just never made the connection. I am even more anxious to read it now.
-Dilettantish Reader

Jennifer Hartling 8/2/13, 10:55 PM  

I'm extremely excited to read this book :) I have it coming up SOON, hooray!

Meghan 8/3/13, 3:48 AM  

I still haven't read What Alice Forgot, but this book sounds fantastic. I might have to add it to the TBR pile anyway. :)

(Diane) bookchickdi 8/3/13, 7:37 AM  

I liked What Alice Forgot and really want to read this one. Moriarty takes interesting premises and builds a good story with fascinating characters around them. The Catholic angle intrigues me too.

JoAnn 8/3/13, 9:31 AM  

This sounds wonderful... and if it's from Amy Einhorn Books, it's sure to be a winner!

Tea norman 8/4/13, 4:44 PM  

Oh my goodness, can't imagine what it would feel like to learn my husband had a secret he hadn't shared with me in years while I share everything with him.(: Would like to read it.

Julie P. 8/8/13, 1:59 PM  

As you already know, I loved this one!!!

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