This 'Secret' creates engaging page-turner
Put yourself in Cecilia Fitzpatrick's shoes: If you found a letter that your husband, conveniently away on a business trip on another continent, marked “to be opened only in the event of my death” — exactly how long would it be before you were steaming it open?
Add into your decision that things have been a bit off lately with your handsome and devoted husband, John-Paul. You haven't made love in six months, and your daughter heard him weeping in the bathroom. Still, Cecilia holds off for 162 tantalizing pages.
All husbands — and wives — have secrets, but John-Paul Fitzpatrick's is devastating.
Australian author Liane Moriarty (“What Alice Forgot”) is far more than the skillful writer of potboilers. Her compelling characters could be your friends and neighbors, nice and neurotic in equal doses.
Rachel, the widowed school secretary, is tormented by the death of her daughter, Janie, at age 16 — her killer never found. Tess is an advertising executive whose husband and cousin (Tess's best friend) — also her business partners — have just confessed they are in love.
Cecilia is the mom who does it all, hosting Tupperware parties (she's one of Australia's top sales people), cooking Easter dinner for 58 people, serving as president of St. Angela's Primary Parents and Friends Association, all while raising three daughters, one of them gifted.
Moriarty's pulsing pace and engaging characters make it well worth the wait to find out John-Paul's secret. She avoids an unfortunate trend in women's fiction to make men bad guys or doofuses. The men in “The Husband's Secret” are fully realized, thoughtful and caring, as flawed and faithful as the women who love them.
Amid three intertwined story lines and terrific plot twists, Moriarty presents a nuanced and moving portrait of the meaning of love, both marital and familial, and how life can hinge on a misunderstanding or a decision made in haste. “The Husband's Secret” is so good, you won't be able to keep it to yourself.
Last week, CBS Films acquired the film rights to the book, which was just published in July.
Patty Rhule is a contributing writer for USA Today.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills couple dismembered in their home; son in custody
- Harmar developer sells 15 hotels in Western Pa., West Virginia
- Penguins testing Fleury, Maatta, Bortuzzo for mumps
- Steelers lookahead: Chiefs’ Charles injured but remains dangerous threat
- Pa. attorney general charges 10 in ‘massive fraud, kickback scheme’ at PennDOT
- Former Charlotte coach to lead Riverhounds
- Ex-Pittsburgh mayoral candidate back in jail
- Rossi: It’s OK if Pitt coaches don’t stay
- Westmoreland Co. businessman concealed assets, federal jury decides
- Replacement attorney named to represent daughter in Scaife trust dispute
- Penguins defenseman Letang having best season in new system