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The Husband's Secret Paperback – 29 Aug 2013

4,521 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405911662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405911665
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,521 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The Husband's Secret is a staggeringly brilliant novel. It is literally unputdownable (Sophie Hannah)

The writing is beautiful: sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always compelling (Good Housekeeping)

The story is cleverly plotted, full of suspense and so well-written that it pulls you in from the first page (Sunday Mirror)

Dark and compelling, this is a must read (Sun)

If you like Jodi Picoult, you'll love this addictive new book (Essentials)

This is such a clever idea. This is powerful, moving and gripping stuff (Star Magazine)

Book Description

To be opened in the event of my death. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

796 of 842 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
Cecilia Fitzpatrick thinks she knows her husband inside out, so she's surprised to accidentally discover in the attic a dusty sealed envelope with "For my wife - to be opened only in the event of my death" written on it in his handwriting. When she casually mentions it to him on the phone, his reaction makes it clear that the last thing he wants is for her to open that envelope - but why?

Leaving us with this intriguing puzzle, the story then jumps to another woman, Tess, whose husband has fallen in love with someone else. Shocked and distraught, Tess makes immediate plans to go and stay with her mother in Sydney, taking her young son with her. Then we move onto a third woman, Rachel, whose much loved daughter died many years previously and whose life now centres on her grandson. Shortly, the three women's lives will intersect and the secret that Cecilia's husband has been guarding for so long will impact on them all.

Despite strong word of mouth, I wasn't expecting a lot from this book, having once tried to read another by this Australian author and giving up on it. But I absolutely devoured The Husband's Secret. From the first chapter I was gripped and I read it in two settings. I worried about the characters - I even woke up in the middle of the night wondering how the author could possibly resolve the events that she'd set in motion. This isn't epic literature, but it's incredibly readable and totally gripping - the kind of book you want for a long plane flight.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Lydia on 7 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
…and now I do. Am I disappointed? Only slightly.

For awhile there it felt like wherever I looked I saw the cover of The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, taunting me. Every book-email and internet sidebar dangled the secret in front of me like a mouth-watering chocolate fudge cake (an M&S one no less). I had tried to be strong and to convince myself that I didn’t need or want to know the secret and that it was probably something unsavoury or uninteresting or un-something else but the temptation was far too much in the end. Apart from being a little insight into why I have had so many failed diet attempts I like to think that it demonstrates an admirable thirst for knowledge.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has lived many years blissfully unaware that her mild-mannered husband, John-Paul, harbours a life-changing secret until the day she discovers a letter addressed to herself, to be opened in the event of his death. What she reads in her husband’s letter leaves her reeling, as everything she thought she knew about her well-ordered life and the person she loves comes crashing down around her.

I thought that the build up to the revelation of John Paul’s secret was brilliant. Moriarty certainly knows how to tease her readers into a desperate frenzy and although I managed to refrain from actually shouting out loud ‘just tell me’ I was extremely close on more than one occasion! As well as Cecilia’s ongoing battle with her conscience, one of Moriarty’s stalling tactics was to introduce a second female protagonist, in the form of happily married Tess, who despite having an unshakable faith in her relationship is about to find out about her own husband’s betrayal.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
Cecilia is a bland middle-aged housewife, a seller of Tupperware (didn't Tupperware parties go out of fashion in the 1980s) and 'super mum', basking in her prosperous suburban life with her handsome husband John-Paul and their three daughters, Isabel (a character never developed at all), bookish Ellen and 'startlingly beautiful' (and annoying) Polly. One day, when looking for a souvenir of her student trip to Europe for her daughter Ellen, she stumbles across a letter from her husband to her 'not to be opened until the event of my death'. Of course, she eventually opens it (believing that the letter includes a confession of infidelity) and of course, her perfect life collapses. Cecilia's story of increasing misery (which culminates in a self-consciously shocking finale) runs alongside the stories of Tess, a woman who seems to have all the men in the world at her feet (even though she allegedly suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder), who has returned to Sydney after her husband has decided he might be in love with her cousin and who falls for one of her previous boyfriends, and Rachel, an elderly woman still reeling from the death of her daughter Jane many years previously. Rachel believes she has - at last - found her daughter's murderer, but is she right?

There are some books that one reads and wonders why they've become so popular - and this is definitely one (apologies to fans of this author - this is just my personal opinion). There was virtually nothing I liked about the book. To begin with, the characters were for the most part very unpleasant. Cecilia was a parody of the good housewife, tut-tutting at her elder daughter for developing passionate intellectual interests while cherishing her younger (spoilt brat!
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By LauraKT on 21 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As my title suggests, after finishing The Husband's Secret I am utterly speechless at how good a novel this has been ... and very disappointed that I have reached the end and I don't have anymore of this book left to read.

What an amazing read - seriously!!

It had me clinging on to my iPad every time I picked it up to read, finding it difficult to put down.

Normally, I am not a fan of a novel consisting of so many characters with alternating chapters - it is the 'trying to remember' where that character left off I don't really enjoy, but this novel somehow had me hooked. It is written in such a way that the 'trying to remember' moments did not exist - page after page flowed in such a way that I didn't feel like the reader, I felt like a character in the book standing back watching the plot unfold in front of me.

Liane Moriarty, I am utterly in love with your writing style - keep up the good work.
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