Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

As part of my reading goal for this year I want to read  more from Australian authors. Liane Moriarty is the first Australian author I've read in 2014. 

I came across this book on the NY Times Best Seller list and I was immediately intrigued by the concept. What if you found a letter addressed to you by your husband to be opened in the event of his death - only he was still alive? Would you open it?

This novel is so much more than I expected it to be. The question above is only the first of many complex moral and ethical dilemmas posed in this story. I honestly don't know what I would do if confronted by any of them.


Set in Melbourne and Sydney, it was a little bit confusing at first because the book is written from three different view points and initially they are not very clearly defined. The first three chapters set the tone for that. Once you get used to it, it isn't so confusing.  

There are three main plot lines that are intersecting. It's a riveting tale and it is told very well. From the opening page which tells of Pandora and her jar - not box - I was captivated. I read it in one sitting. I highly recommend it.

If you'd like to check it out for yourself click here to find it on Amazon. 

How likely are you to give in to curiousity - temptation? If you found such a letter from your spouse - would you open it?

Book Blurb:
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.


About the author:
Liane was born on a beautiful November day in 1966 in Sydney. A few hours after she was born, she smiled directly at her father through the nursery glass window, which is remarkable, seeing as most babies can’t even focus their eyes at that age.

Her first word was ‘glug’. This was faithfully recorded in the baby book kept by her mother. (As the eldest of six children, Liane was the only one to get a baby book so she likes to refer to it often.)

As a child, she loved to read, so much so that school friends would cruelly hide their books when she came to play. She still doesn’t know how to go to sleep at night without first reading a novel for a very long time in a very hot bath.

She can’t remember the first story she ever wrote, but she does remember her first publishing deal. Her father ‘commissioned’ her to write a novel for him and paid her an advance of $1.00. She wrote a three volume epic called, ‘The Mystery of Dead Man’s Island’

After leaving school, Liane began a career in advertising and marketing. She became quite corporate for a while and wore suits and worried a lot about the size of her office. She eventually left her position as marketing manager of a legal publishing company to run her own (not especially successful) business called The Little Ad Agency. After that she worked as (a more successful, thankfully) freelance advertising copywriter, writing everything from websites and TV commercials to the back of the Sultana Bran box.

She also wrote short stories and many first chapters of novels that didn’t go any further. The problem was that she didn’t actually believe that real people had novels published. Then one day she found out that they did, when her younger sister Jaclyn Moriarty called to say that her (brilliant, hilarious, award-winning) novel, Feeling Sorry for Celia was about to be published.

In a fever of sibling rivalry, Liane rushed to the computer and wrote a children’s book called The Animal Olympics, which went on to be enthusiastically rejected by every publisher in Australia.

She calmed down and enrolled in a Masters degree at Macquarie University in Sydney. As part of that degree, she wrote her first novel, Three Wishes. It was accepted by the lovely people at Pan Macmillan and went on to be published around the world. (Her latest books are published by the equally lovely people at Penguin in both the US and the UK)

Since then she has written two more novels for adults, as well as a series of books for children.

Liane is now a full-time author. She lives in Sydney with her husband, her new baby daughter Anna, and her son George, who likes to sit on her lap while she works, helpfully smashing his fist against the keyboard and suggesting that she might prefer to be watching the Wiggles instead.

Once upon a time she went heli-skiing and skydiving* and scuba diving. These days she goes to the park and ‘Gymbaroo’ and sings ‘I’m a Little Cuckoo Clock’ at swimming lessons. She has discovered that the adrenaline burst you experience from jumping out of a plane is remarkably similar to the one you get when your toddler makes a run for it in a busy car park.

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