I rarely read a novel just because it's on the New York Times' list (Today this novel is #5). But in the middle of my slog through The Goldfinch, I realized I needed something new to read. I needed a book that was lighter and maybe a little distracting. I decided to try The Husband's Secret because it was reviewed as a mystery - and I love a good mystery - and I was intrigued by the idea of a wife finding a letter which is labeled:
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…Awesome hook.
Now, what would I want to know if I'm thinking of reading this?
(A) It moved well. It had a nice pace and changed narrators to give different perspectives. I enjoyed this book, even if I didn't LOVE it.
(B) The secret isn't so out there that I was irritated or completely "skeeved"by what I read. I was having some anxiety about that as it went on.
Moriarty added some nice touches with her narrator's voice. There is a bit of a "what could have been" going on where the narrator quickly explores other choices the characters might have made. These "coulda, woulda', shoulda'" moments challenge the reality of the characters and also makes the reader think a bit more deeply. It's a bit of a thinking girls romantic chick lit. Lastly, the novel is set in Australia. I'm a sucker for contemporary fiction not set in England or the US.
I would recommend this book. It's definitely more of an adult fiction. Meaning, I don't think a teenager would enjoy the emotional nuances of the book. It obviously centers heavily on a marriage and the emotional realities of that type of commitment. I found the wife's reaction the entire situation very realistic. There were entire chapters where I spent time thinking "What the hell would I do if this happened to me?" I liked that.
Please let me know if you've read or are thinking of reading this. It might make a good Spring Break book - but I'd start with Gone Girl if you are still on the fence about that one.