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Publisher's Summary

"My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...."

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.

©2013 Liane Moriarty (P)2013 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"In The Husband's Secret,, Liane Moriarty has created a contemporary Pandora whose dilemma is spellbinding. Shocking, complex and thought-provoking, this is a story reading groups will devour. A knockout!" (Emily Giffin, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    9,855
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Good, but a little too much hand-wringing

Liane Moriatry would have had a real winner here if a fourth of the text were edited out. Even with the padding, I was fairly engrossed. We've got soap-opera family dynamics that rise above the genre thanks to original plot elements. Not great literature by any means, but for the purpose of enlivening a dull commute, this is worth a credit. I love the narrator. She can visit my ear anytime.

85 of 98 people found this review helpful

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Soap Opera Digest

The flower on the book was an omen foreboding me to step away. Romance novel was my gut instinct, and left it at that, until magazine after magazine touted this as one of the year's best. I caved and spent my credit only to find I was correct.

Cousins fight over a the same man; jilted lover hooks up with old high school beau; and spoiler alert...husband has a secret! This book isn't complete rubbish, but it's certainly not great lit either. Reminds me of another book given the same distinction, "Life after Life" and after the second time, I wanted to kill the narrator myself.

If you're expecting clever twists, witty dialogue, precarious situations, this is not for you.

188 of 222 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • San Francisco, CA USA
  • 09-01-13

Escape to the land down under...

I downloaded this book because it got a great review from a reviewer I follow (thanks, Elizabeth) and I'm glad I did. I'd never heard of Liane Moriarty before, but now I'd compare her to Jennifer Crusie for her writing style and Lisa Lutz for the story. The voices of the characters are distinct and if I had to pick a favorite, there'd be trouble. All three of the female lead characters - plus Felicity - fascinated me. I felt oddly like I knew them very well and yet was constantly caught off guard by their next moves.

I have to admit that I guessed the ending. But that only increased my interest because I couldn't be sure. This book, while not literary per se, nor a thriller exactly, hovered somewhere in between - in the genre now known as "a Moriarty."

Caroline Lee's performance enhanced the listen. Recommend.

88 of 104 people found this review helpful

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Loved It

One of the best novels I read this year, and I read about forty of them. Each of the three main characters has her own unique personality, compelling story, and internal growth. Their lives intersect in fascinating ways. This book has it all: an engrossing plot, interesting characters, and depth.

This novel is set in contemporary Australia, and features an unsolved murder, a marital separation, family tension, and not just a husband's secret, but small and large secrets of many characters.

I only wish the cover and title of this book didn't make it seem like a romance novel. It is deeper and more literary than it first appears.

56 of 67 people found this review helpful

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As Fun and Funny as it is Deep

Liane Moriarity's work read by Caroline Lee is the perfect example of symmetry. The book is funny, ironic, dramatic and egaging. Caroline Lee delivers a performance worthy of a great work.

I loved Big Little Lies so much I listened to it twice, back to back. Perhsps it was the cover or its title, but The Husband's Secret seemed more like a romance novel. In other words I judged a book by its cover! Please dont make the same mistake.

In the first moments of the book we are reminded of the story of Pandora and the box not to be opened. A young mother stumbles across a sealed envelope from her husband addressed to her, "to be opened in the event of my death," Like Pandora, if she opens the envelope her life will never be the same. That is the bait that caught my attention.

Moriarity takes us into a neurotic world of busy family lives, parenting trials and triumphs, complicated marriages in impossible situations. She does it with A genius sense of humor, yet also with a great deal of depth.

This is a really great experience!

55 of 67 people found this review helpful

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Secrets create the new normal

This is an excellent book that beautifully builds and draws you into the lives of three ordinary Australian women during extraordinary circumstances. The secrets that lie at the heart of each of them are easy to relate to and told masterfully. It is that wonderful mix of complex charcter study and great plot that makes you form a love/hate relationship with each of the characters. Caring so much about what comes next makes it hard to put down. This is the perfect summer read/book club/gift book because you'll want to run out and find someone else to talk with about it when you're done. Do be careful of spoilers on this one - - there is great pleasure in each revelation.

42 of 55 people found this review helpful

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Best Audiobook Since Gone Girl

I loved this audiobook. The narrator was amazing. I loved her accent and she was perfect for each character. The story had me at the first sentence and kept me engaged until the end. When I had an hour left, I went and did something else for a few hours just so I could extend the book. I did not want it to end. This book is not chick flick. This book has everything. Superb writing. Characters that were believable and I could relate to. And Ms Moriarty wove the tale like no other. I will be recommending this book to all my book lover friends. I can't wait to try some more books by this author.

106 of 140 people found this review helpful

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I Would Give 6 Stars if I Could!

First off, the narration couldn't be more masterfully done. Bravo Caroline Lee!
Second, the author is a phenomenal writer, skilled at weaving the everyday mundane into a brilliant tapestry, interconnecting the lives of the three main characters in a way that was reminiscent of "The Help" or a Maeve Binchy novel but it was certainly a unique and remarkable story all its own. Moriarty draws characters who you recognize (think John Grisham) and relate to, and she sucks you into their lives beautifully.

The big hook of this story is "what is in the husband's letter?" and I thought I had it figured out. (NO spoiler don't worry) But when it was finally revealed I literally gasped out loud and I don't think I've ever done that before while reading a book, ever.

This is a delightful, engaging, and poignant read that I would recommend to anyone. In fact I might even stop strangers in the street to recommend it. It's THAT GOOD!

32 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Loved it; could not put it down!

Would you listen to The Husband's Secret again? Why?

Absolutely I will!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tess, so funny, so real. I havent ever been the Tess in a TWF triangle, but the writer made me imagine being her, and I felt that I would think and react just as she did.

Which character – as performed by Caroline Lee – was your favorite?

Tess. Caroline Lee made all three women come vividly to life, however; I felt Cecilia's bottom-dropped-out shock and Rachel's raw grief equally keenly thanks to her amazing performance.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed out loud many times despite the subject matter, and cried a few tears listening during my daily commute.

Any additional comments?

This was my first Liane Moriarty book--and I was instantly hooked. I bought and listened to all five of her other novels in rapid succession. As audiobooks i have still never found their equal. The world--and especially Audible-hooked commuters--needs more Liane Moriarty!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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My Dirty Little Secret - Auld Lang Syne, 2013

I finished this book back in August (2013), just weeks after it was published. I wrote no review because there were already 4 and they all raved about this book. It had seemed harmless enough to me: a lazily written, not particularly creative read, similar to a preposterous soap opera, that whined out of my ipod and through my ears without imparting any real insight or pleasure I'd care to pass along. If 4 readers luved this, then there were 4 happy people in the world that might inspire even more happiness. : )

My magnanimity took a dive when I side-eyed this title on some obscure Best Reads list. As it marched its way onto more and more of these ubiquitous lists, I began to feel increasingly uncharitable to this book, responsible for those 4 happy readers back in August, ONLY because there were some really good books not getting a spot on those lists, and because -- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry -- but I thought this was overall processed doo doo you unfortunately read once in a while, but devoting all of your reading time to similar books could lead to atrophying of the brain. Harsh 'who-do-you-who-do-you-who-do-you-think you are' opinions like that aren't well received, and you might understand why I didn't share an opinion I wasn't proud of.

Ushering in 2014 means bidding adieu to 2013; so I'll think of the Robert Burns poem Auld Lang Syne while I peruse the Best Reads from 2013 lists...but there'll be no *cup o'kindness yet* for the inclusion of The Husband Secret.

126 of 181 people found this review helpful