Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Genres: community, drama, family, fiction, relationships, reviewed, satire, women's fiction 
Formats: Hard cover, Paperback, Kindle, Nook (16 editions)
Pages: 416 
Published:  August 29th 2013
Publishers: Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2013)
ISBN 1405911662 (ISBN13: 9781405911665)
Edition language: EnglishPurchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2013: Liane Moriary is probably doomed to be forever labeled a writer of “chick lit.” But despite its dopey name, her new novel, The Husband’s Secret, is better described as a comedy of manners and one with a serious undertone. As in her previous books, most successfully What Alice Forgot, Moriarty here wittily and observantly chronicles the life of middle aged, middle class Australian women, suburbanites who grapple with prosaic issues like marital fidelity and torturous ones like moral guilt and responsibility. You can’t help but laugh along with the small observations--“And there was poor little Rob, a teenage boy clumsily trying to make everything right, all false smiles and cheery lies. No wonder he became a real estate agent.” But it’s the big ones--Can good people do very, very bad things, and what, exactly, are we responsible for, and for how long?--that will make you think. This is a deceptively rich novel that transcends its era and place at the same time that it celebrates same. --Sara Nelson

Sydney, Australia.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick had never aspired to anything other than ordinariness. She was a typical suburban mum:

  • everything in her home strictly stacked and labeled; 
  • her children, Isabel, Esther and Polly, on a precision course - perfectly calendered and co-ordinated; 
  • her community life impeccable - President of St Angela’s Primary Parents and Citizens Association; and
  • the Tupperware queen of the region - one of the top eleven sales people in the country.

Her daughter Polly controlled the household with her obsessive interest in the Fall of the Berlin Wall. 

Tess Curtis and her niece, formerly- fat Felicity, were spiritually bonded at the hip since birth, sharing everything. Until Tess was confronted with the ultimate request to share something she held the most dearest. She had to get away. She took her son Liam and flew back home.

Rachel Crowley lost her daughter, Janie, to a murder. Embittered, stubborn, resentful and lonely - especially when her son Rob announced his departure to New York with his wife and two-year-old son, she quietly built up a revenge she would unleash one sunny day, but was blinded by hatred, heartbreak and sorrow. Her impulsive action not only blew up in her face, but exploded like an atomic bomb in the community.

The families had two things in common: the television program, The Biggest Loser and the St Angela's Primary School.

All the husbands in the book are much-loved, much-admired and perfect. Well, most of the time...

But one man, Connor Whitby, would put the bubbles in the blood in a hen's pen, when he established himself as the Physical Exercise teacher in the school. Formerly a boring accountant, married to a equally boring ambitious lawyer, he started over by training his body and mind, buying a motorbike, and getting his biceps and six pack pumped up in the gym. The hormonal cocktail he gets stirred up have all the ladies, school girls and mamas in town huffing and puffing in his presence - everyone, except Rachel. Not because she was too old (women are never too old!) but because of her daughter Janie.

So, when Pandora toppled a shoe box in Cecilia's attic, and reveal a letter, addressed to her, to only be opened after the death of her husband John-Paul (who was still very much alive), the stage is set for an emotional, mental and physical avalanche of drama, adventure and stupefying endings.

I agreed with the ending. In fiction-country it is dumbfounding and might even make a few million revenge-driven mamas very angry, but in reality it was the best decisions. I liked it.

You got it right. I adored this book. There's heartbreak, humor and harlots. There's mediocrity, madness and mayhem. But most of all, it was all perfectly stringed together in the rosary of this community's life, which not even the thirty-year-old priest would be able to handle. If he knew what some of these women were thinking in his services, he would have made a run for it!

In the end we are left with the possibilities of what could have happened if......
Just amazing!

This book resonates with millions of women all over the world, staying for several weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. I can clearly see why.


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’

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