Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Husband's Secret

Hamlet. Frankenstein. Moby Dick. These are all classic revenge stories that end in tragedy. Where do we look for a contemporary twist on the revenge tale? For starters, there's Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret. 

In her novel, revenge is like a snake hidden in a beautiful garden. Underneath the novel's frothy, humorous exterior are terrible secrets waiting to be unearthed.

We see the world through the eyes of three women--Tess, Cecilia, and Rachel. Tess an advertising account executive hides her 
secret--social anxiety--fairly well. She has even fooled herself. Her witty but fat cousin, Felicity, helps her with  any and all insecurities until --oops-- she wants what belongs exclusively to Tess.

Cecilia is a Tupperware queen who practically runs the Catholic school her children attend. She is the envied, perfectly-organized Mom until she finds a letter that unhinges her well-ordered life. The letter to be opened, it says, upon her husband's death, reveals a terrible secret that will shatter the lives of the three women.

The shattered rose on the cover is a fitting image.

Rachel who dislikes her daughter-in-law is probably the character who suffers most in the novel. In one terrible moment, Rachel seeks vengeance upon the man whom she believes has murdered her daughter. Tragedy ensues yet truth--the secret and its repercussions--is finally revealed.

Complicated, yet entertaining, funny and thrilling, The Husband's Secret will delight all kinds of readers.