The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read

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.

Plot:
In this book Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel are all linked together by the secret in the letter.

Cecilia is a mother of three girls, she is a ‘school mum and part-time Tupperware consultant’. One day she was in the attic and she finds a letter from her husband (which should be read after his death). She tells her husband John-Paul about founding the letter and he asks her not to read it. He didn’t gave her any explanation why, which made her suspicious if he is having an affair.

Tess, mother of a young boy called Liam, moved back to her mothers house in Sydney after her husband (Will) and cousin (Felicity) told her that they have feelings for each other and want to be together.

Rachel just received a news that her son, Rob, will be moving to New York for work with his wife and son. Rachel is upset, because she loves her grandson and that way she won’t be able to see him grow up. She also had a daughter named Janie, who was murdered in 1984 when she was a teenager. Rachel is still living in a dark state, because the murderer was never brought to justice.

The women’s lives start to intersect when Tess and her mother bump into Cecilia. Tess is about to enrol Liam in the same school as Cecilia’s daughter Polly, where considerately Rachel works as a secretary. The author also indicated the connection between these three women in the first chapters of each one, when they all heard the same line from from The Biggest Loser show, when their lives changed.

When Tess meets Rachel for the first time, Connor enters into the office, who is a PE teacher and an old flame of Tess. Rachel is also convinced that Connor was the one who killed Janie, because the sergeant claimed he was lying about something and he was supposedly the last one to see her alive. Later into the story Rachel found an old VCR tape with a recording of Janie and Connor and decides that this could be new evidence against him.

SPOILER ALERT

John-Paul returned home from his business trip sooner than anticipated (because of the letter). Cecilia wakes up in the middle of the night upon hearing sounds in the attic and realises that her husband is trying to find the letter, which she had left in their office. She gets out of bed and goes to read it and it is worst than she thought. In the letter he confessed to killing Janie. When she confronts John-Paul and he tells her in great details of how he killed Janie. Janie told him she was in love with another boy (Connor who was also in love with her). He than choked her to death.

Tess and Connor went on a date that ended with sex. After that they talked about what is going on with their lives so she tells him about her marriage and he tells her that he was a suspect in Janie’s murder, but he is innocent.

Rachel tells Cecilia, after she delivered her Tupperware order, that she might be closer to finding Janie’s killer. After Cecilia gets home she tells John-Paul about it, but he says that there couldn’t be any new evidence, if there were he would turn himself in. Rachel found out that the videotape offers no signs that Connor could be guilty of killing her daughter.

During all that drama Tess starts an affair with Connor, who invites Tess and Liam out to fly a kite, but when they were about to leave Felicity shows up. She tells Tess that nothing happend between her an Will, that his feelings went away when Tess left. Tess doesn’t forgive her (obviously) and leaves to go meet with Connor.

 John-Paul, Cecilia and their daughters go for a bike ride, when Polly sees her PE teacher Connor she starts cycling faster towards him (she had a little crush on him). In the meantime Rachel is driving home distracted by her anger when she sees Connor she decides to run him over. But out of nowhere (for Rachel) comes little Polly on her bicycle and she drives her over instead.

Polly survives the accident but the doctors need to amputated her arm. Rachel is horrified of what has happened and confesses that she was trying to kill Connor. Cecilia finally tells Rachel that it was her husband who murdered Janie. John-Paul than confesses to Rachel, she later said she won’t press charges against him for the sake of his daughters. Cecilia believes that Polly’s accident was punishment enough for John-Paul and what he did.

Will wants another chance with Tess and she decides to give their marriage one more chance until Christmas, to see if they can make things work out between them.

In the epilogue the author wrote some things the characters in the book will never know (like what ifs and other things). One of the thing is also the real reason why Janie had died (aortic aneurysm and not from suffocation).

Final thoughts:

I really enjoyed the book, I always love when you can be inside more than one person head because then you can see and understand things from different perspectives.

I also loved how their lives were linked together especially at the end when the accident happened and the epilogue is always my favourite part of the book when you find out more about the characters after the story is finished.

I give this book: 4/5 stars

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