Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review: The Husband's Secret by Liane Morarity

The Husband's Secret by Liane Morarity
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia
Publication date: April 1st, 2013
Number of pages:
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Bookworld | The Book Depository

To be opened in the event of my death

With one swift, vicious movement, she sliced the envelope open, and pulled out a handwritten letter.

love you and the girls...
so sorry to leave you with this...
cannot bear

The Husband's Secret is a funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love and secrets. When her husband announces he's in love with her best friend, painfully shy Tess picks up her young son and returns to her mother's house. There she begins an unexpected affair with an old flame. Rachel is a woman in her sixties consumed by grief and anger at the loss of her daughter twenty years earlier. When her son announces he is taking her beloved grandson overseas, Rachel begins a descent into deeper bitterness and pain. Cecilia is the quintessential "I don't know how she does it" woman. A devoted mother to three daughters, she runs her household like clockwork, is President of the P&C, owns an extremely successful Tupperware business and is happy in her fifteen-year marriage. Until she discovers a letter in their attic labelled: "To my wife Cecilia, to be opened in the event of my death"... Her husband's secret is a bombshell beyond all imagining with repercussions across the lives of all three women.

Cecilia thought she had the perfect marriage, that is until she discovers a letter written to her from her husband in the case of his death. What happens when she decides to open it? She couldn't be prepared for the consequences of that one decision. That one action which will change everything she thought she knew, forever.

This novel goes through the lives of three different women who each discover a secret about someone close to them. A secret that could very well change everything they knew about their own lives and the people in it.
We start with Cecilia, who discovers a letter hidden in the attic written to her from her husband to be opened in the case of his death. This is something she brings up to him, and even though he dismisses it, she has the feeling that it's somewhat important. She might have been prepared to be surprised, but when she does open the letter and the contents are revealed ;  Cecilia will be opening a can of worms that she will never be able to close again.
Then we have Tess, who has been married to Will for many years, but the soon discovers the ultimate betrayal;  that he is in love with her best friend and cousin. With this new revelation, she packs up herself and her son and goes to stay with her mother for a while. During this time she'll be reaquainted with an old flame, new realisations and discoveries.
lastly, we have Rachel. She is a a woman who is haunted by a past she can't seem to forget. She is plagued with feelings of regret and revenge after the death of her daughter many years ago.

These three women, all who have secrets and issues themselves, start to connect to one another as you discover connections to one another. Can they discover a way to put the past where it belongs and move forward? Or will they always be haunted by secrets they will never be able to get rid of?

This novel moved me so vividly. Liane is a great storyteller. Not only on Australian fiction, but also into the real lives of women, secrets and lies. This story shows that it's not just women that hold secrets, but the men in our lives. Sometimes you can overcome them, and sometimes you can't all depending on the seriousness of the issue and if it's possible to work toward a resolution.

I loved the fact the marriage between Cecila and her husband, and Tess and her husband, Will went through some real-life situations and issues. Matters were brought up. The past came out in the open, and the issue of forgiveness and the ability to move on is brought to the table.
I definitely wouldn't mind reading more from this author, especially one who was able to make me engage into a story very quickly into a novel.

Thank you to Pan MacMillan for giving me this chance to review this book, and also to experience this new kind of story that I probably wouldn't have read on my own.

Rating: 5/5


  1. This sounds fantastic, and it's no surprise as this family is so talented!

    I am yet to read anything by Liane, but I do have two of her previous books so I'll be sure to read them soon.

    1. Do you know if she is related to Jaclyn Morarity?