Book review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

“Nobody tells Pandora a word about the jar. Nobody tells her not to open the jar.” There are so many secrets about our lives we’ll never know. Would you open the jar?

By Natasha Akpan
Thursday, 28th November 2013, 10:55 am
The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty
The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret is set in Australia and tells the stories of three women and their families who are entwined to one another by an event that happened 28 years ago. The connection between the three main characters, Cecilia, Tess and Rachel, develops as each of their stories is shared.

The author, Liane Moriarty, has created very convincing and quirky characters. They are well-written and each one is introduced through individual backstories, giving the reader an insight to personal details about each of their lives. At times the reader may find that they can easily identify with the thoughts and emotions of a specific character, allowing them to feel a personal connection to them, which makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

A reference to Pandora’s Box appears in the prologue which explains how after the box is opened, a chain of unfortunate and uncontrollable events will be unravelled. This is reflected later on in the book when Cecilia Fitzpatrick discovers a hidden letter written by her husband and despite being told not to open it, curiosity gets the better of her and from this moment on, her life is turned upside down.

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It is clear to see why this book is a best-seller, the quick-paced nature that it has is complimented by short chapters and intense, page-turning twists which are unravelled as the reader is taken deeper into the story.

Moriarty touches on the themes of betrayal, grief, love, regret, guilt and fate, all of which are things that everyone will experience at different times in their lives. Her writing style is clever and consistent as she keeps the reader gripped from beginning to end. She leaves the reader with something to think about and finishes with an excellent closing line: ‘Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.’

Penguin Books Ltd, Paperback (RRP) £7.99, Kindle Edition £3.99