If you like Jodi Picoult ... her brilliant, tender characterisations, moral dilemmas and a guaranteed twist you didn't see coming ... then you will love the work of Liane Moriarty. Like many Australians, I've been slow to look at Moriarty's work. My loss.
I've just finished The Husband's Secret and really enjoyed the ride. The motivations of the women, fierce love for children and assessment of marriage all spoke to me. Deeply. It wasn't uncommon for me to weep and give a belly laugh on the same page. Or sigh in sympathy.
Moriarty is a BIG DEAL in the USA, with a pair of books holding court in the NY times bestseller list in 2014. Australians have been quick to dismiss her books as not literary enough. What rubbish. She writes about the minutiae of women's lives on Sydney's North Shore. Do these stories deserve not to be told? Are they less interesting? Moriarty can weave a narrative to sweep you up to the end - the dialogue is very strong. Moriarty is also the master of laughs, delving behind the facades to show the motivations in often hilarious and honest circumstances.
The Australian literary critics have their claws out but Moriarty is having the last laugh I'd say. All the way the bank.
BLURB from Pan Macmillan, RRP $14.99
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 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 too. 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 business woman, 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.
What the reviewers said
“Emotionally astute, immensely smart, and as cinematically plotted as any Tom Perrotta novel destined for critical accolades and a big-screen adaptation.” Entertainment Weekly
“A knowing, touching and entertaining page-turner. What a wonderful writer Ð smart, wise, funny.”Anne Lammott
“Intelligent and funny novel with a strong plot and intriguing premise” Sydney Morning Herald
‘Moriarty may be an edgier, more provocative successor to Maeve Binchy. There is real darkness here, but it is offset by the author’s natural wit…and irrepressible goodwill toward her characters.’
Kirkus (Starred review)
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