I was recommended this book by Amazon when I rated Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. So when I started reading The Husband’s Secret, I went in expecting something dark and twisty, and well, something a little more like Sharp Objects. But this book isn’t anything like that at all.
On the contrary, it’s a sweet book about three women struggling with different issues in their life. One of the women Cecilia is very happily married (or so she thinks), until one day she opens a letter from her husband that she wasn’t supposed to see. The secret revealed changes her whole attitude to her husband.
Another woman Tess is on the verge of divorcing her husband after he reveals to her that he has fallen in love with her cousin.
Rachel, is an older woman who is mourning the untimely and mysterious death of her daughter (who had she lived would have been Cecilia’s and Rachel’s counterparts in age).
Predictably, all three stories merge together to form the rest of this book.
I guess I liked this book for what it was. It’s a bit predictable but for the mood I was in (wanting an easy read that wouldn’t tax the brain too much), this book was perfect. I liked all the three protagonists – Cecilia, Tess, and Rachel, and liked how well their characters were drawn – realistic, not always likable, and unsure about the way forward. I also thought Moriarty did an admirable job tying all their lives and plot points together without making it seem too 80s style chick-lit (you know that phase where almost every book had three girls struggling with their issues).
What I didn’t like was how off Amazon’s recommendation was. There is absolutely nothing dark or menacing or even remotely thrilling about this book. It’s a regular story about three women, with just the slightest hint of mystery. I also didn’t like the pat clean endings neatly tied with a knot for all three women. Considering the bitterness that all the women carried with them throughout the novel, the ending just seemed rushed and bad feelings were just brushed away under the rug.
I also didn’t understand the need for the very unnecessary epilogue with the plot twist that deconstructs some of the key themes of the book.
Overall, this was an okayish kind of book. I liked it enough to devour it over a single day, but it’s not one of those memorable stand-out type of books. Also, the comparisons to Gillian Flynn are so, so wrong. They are nothing alike, and I am never going to believe lists like these again.
Have you ever been fooled by book/author recommendations? Those if you like abc, then you”ll like xyz ones?
You can also buy a copy of this book from Amazon.