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Bon’s Book Club: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

February 2, 2014

Whaaaattttt????? I’m actually posting something????

It’s time for my first book as a part of Bon’s Book Club! When she posted about the club, I added it immediately to my personal regime as part of my resolutions for this year, and I finished the daggone thing by January 2nd. I’ve been sitting, waiting patiently impatiently to share my thoughts, and while they probably won’t be any deep insights this time around, I’m excited to share my viewpoint, nonetheless. Yes, I’m a week late. Oopsies.

Here we go.

+ The book is told from the viewpoint of three women.  Which women did you like the most and why?  Whom did you dislike the most and why?

I can sympathize with Rachel. She feels like the day Janie died sucked all of the life out of her. I can’t say that I would or would not have chosen her path. Cecilia just pisses me off. She’s definitely my least-liked character, and probably because I can relate to her in many ways, wanting to have the perfect life and such. Her moral choices, her complete trust in her husband and refusal to open the letter – those are the things that aggravate me. I couldn’t for a second make the same choices. I couldn’t sit on something so huge, knowing that someone had been wronged. Maybe it is easy to say that looking through the window into someone else’s life, and maybe I would feel differently had it been my own husband, but then again, my own husband has always been open and forthcoming about everything, so the weird behavior would’ve frustrated me from the beginning. As for Tess, I wish she would’ve just completely left Will and Felicity behind and not taken him back. Sure, her jumping straight into bed with Connor wasn’t the best choice, but at least it was an honest one.

I don’t think I have a least-liked or most-liked character. I need a second read of the book to really delve in and analyze this question, to discover their nuances a bit more.

+ What would you have done if you had found out the secret that Celia did?  Did you agree with the way she handled it?  What is the “right” thing to do in a situation like that?

Hmm…. Again, from the outside looking in, I couldn’t have possibly held in the secret. I would’ve forced John Paul’s hand to come clean, to let go of the burden. Even if he had gone to jail, at least the burden would be released and he could begin to work through the guilt. The honesty he finally shared with her could’ve created a completely different marriage scenario.

+ What was the point of the side story with Tess?  Do you excuse the way she acted during that week because of the uncertainty in her marriage?

I think Liane put those bits in there to give a bit of lightheartedness and hope to a very heavy book. What she did was wrong, and just as wrong as the emotional affair between Will and Felicity, but it was honest and realistic and cathartic for the the character. I honestly wish she would’ve dumped her marriage, which is something I wish I didn’t feel because I don’t generally believe in divorce, but Will most likely will hurt her again and that’s something that she shouldn’t have to bear again. This wasn’t an overnight thing, but a long, repeated history of emotional violation.

+ Do you believe the bike accident was adequate “penance” for what John Paul had done?

Absolutely not. Polly didn’t do anything and now she’s the victim.

+ Did you like the resolution of the book?  Did you feel there was enough closure?

If I remember correctly, I screamed out loud out of frustration, haha. The what-ifs slayed me. SLAYED ME.

Overall, even though this book was frustrating and emotionally upheaving, I loved it. Even though I had figured out the basics of the plot early on, I want to read it again to actually have a chance to analyze it more thoroughly. I also need to not finish the book an entire month before book club so I remember the details in order to have an effective discussion! If you are looking for a good read, this is it.

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