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The Husband's Secret

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  308,769 Ratings  ·  25,359 Reviews
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 that 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
Hardcover, 396 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Berkley
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Ariel Brown I actually found it highly romantic. Not the young passionate romantic tale of young love - but the love that grows out of shared hardship and pain.…moreI actually found it highly romantic. Not the young passionate romantic tale of young love - but the love that grows out of shared hardship and pain. The love of middle age, which is no less intense or has less hurdles. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense, and the highly emotive love entanglements.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 17, 2014 Marianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This author has the snappy inner dialogue thing down! She is witty, witty, witty! I was mesmerized with the first few chapters, kept greedily turning the pages. But then I realized that things were getting shallower and shallower instead of deeper and deeper. It was like walking into a pool expecting to swim once you hit the deep end and discovering that you're wading in the kiddie pond. All of a sudden, it was clear that I didn't genuinely like any of the characters and that everyone--everyone! ...more
Nov 05, 2013 Mitch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I have been so ashamed of many of the newest Best Sellers that have been released. And this hunk of garbage can be added to this list. This year so far has been an overall bummer for me in finding good reads and yikes...I wish I could get my money back. For real.

"The Husband's Secret" by Liane Moriarty sounds awesome in theory. A woman finds a hidden letter written years ago by her loyal husband that contains a secret that could change or ruin many lives. It also follows two other women and
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
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
Emily May
May 27, 2015 Emily May rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, modern-lit
Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.

The Husband's Secret is a decent book, but I honestly expected to enjoy it a lot more than I did. I love mysteries that focus on the characters and their relationships with each other; and I love reading about morally questionable people, especially women. I find complex relationships between women to be fascinating - woven with friendship, jealousies and secrets - but I found this book superficial and, at times, even boring.

Aug 14, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PERFECT SUMMER READ. Full disclosure: I listened to this as an audiobook. Normally I save my audiobooks for cleaning house, but this was so good I took it on runs, slowed down my walks to work, even listened for a few minutes as I got my coffee, ignoring my coworkers. The reader's Australian accent made the story come alive, but I bet it's just as spellbinding in print. Two husbands in this book have secrets: one predictable, quickly revealed; the other unexpected and drawn out. Each time I thou ...more
Kristin (KC)
*5+ Stars … A new favorite!*

Can I say I effing love this author after having read only two of her books? Because that’s exactly what’s going on right now…

I’ve been on a huge Mystery/Psychological Thriller kick lately, and I’ve realized with many books of this genre, some (or all) of the characters are very easy to hate.

Which is fine.

And so I was ready for that. I put my little crazy-book-wall up and was prepared to just observe this story without really letting the characters in.

But they crept
Jul 03, 2016 Carmen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One

ETA: Okay, I finished it.

I still stand by my original opinion. Three unlikable women are the main characters in this novel.

Cecilia is a ninny. She finds this letter in the attic addressed to her, only to be opened when her husband dies. He's not dead. She spends the first half of the book waffling between should-I-open-it/should-I-not. It's annoying. Meanwhile, she runs through every scenario she can think of and also fantasizes about what every single family member and friend would a
Mary Clarke
Nov 10, 2013 Mary Clarke rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read any other Liane Moriarty books and am not inclined to after reading this one. It was predictable, dull, shallow and padded. What was the whole Berlin Wall bit about and why was it included? I don't know why people call books like this 'good summer reading' - a great book is a great book and it doesn't matter what time of the year it's read. This was a book club recommendation and I cannot understand why it was so popular.

The piece that finally did it for me was the little additi
Oct 19, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nb-book-club
***Contains Spoilers***
Eh. I doubt I would've finished this if it wasn't a book club selection. I just didn't care about any of the characters or how the story was going to end.

It's definitely not going into the stack of books I consider to be riveting. ;-) I'd throw it in the stack of stories about selfish people making selfish choices in life.
I don't agree with any of the choices made by the characters. I don't think real people would make the decisions these characters made.

I find it hard t
Oct 27, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liane Moriarty is an artist.

First of all we have different women that seem to have nothing to do with one another. The book toggles between each of them. Additionally, the prologue is a quick synopsis of Pandora and her box, pointing out that Pandora was never told to not open the box. Why wouldn't she open the box? She had no idea what would be unleashed when she opened the box. The stories are also interspersed with a little bit of history of the Berlin Wall. Which would seem odd except that,
Jaclyn Day
I read this out of curiosity (it’s one of the top selling books on Kindle) and I’m not sorry I did, but it does bring new meaning to the phrase “light read.” I read it in about two hours and enjoyed every minute, but it’s fluff. In one ear and out the other. The story is about a woman who discovers a letter addressed to her from her husband in a box in the attic. It says only to open it in the case of his death. Her husband is not dead yet and so she agonizes through too many chapters about whet ...more
May 20, 2015 Brandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
4.5 Stars


Cecilia has found a letter, written by her husband to be opened after his death, but he is still very much alive, and the secret inside is about to shatter her perfect life.

Rachel has spent years mourning the loss of her daughter, she is just going through the motions, plagued by the life that was stolen.

Tess is faces the ultimate betrayal when the two people she trust the most in the world, make a shocking declaration.

These three women barely know each other, yet they are all connecte
Sep 04, 2013 Ionia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Husband's Secret is an intricate novel of multiple stories and lives that all affect one another in the end. I was impressed by the way the author handled this, although I must admit, in the beginning, for the first few chapters, I was a bit confused about what was happening and where it was leading. There are a lot of secondary characters introduced in the first chapter, and they were a bit hard for me to sort out.

Once this novel really got moving for me,(along about chapter three) this be
Jennifer Kyle
May 14, 2015 Jennifer Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have, and maybe should have taken. It's probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora."


This is my first book by this author and it certainly won’t be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed it and that ending packed one hell of a punch. I have read the epilogue to everyone in my family to share in my excitement sadly I guess you have to read the whole book to get the full effect.


This story is based a
5 Stars!!


I can honestly say “The Husband’s Secret” is a unique read! In my humble opinion, of course.Why? Because it was like nothing I’ve ever read. With a clever plot, ‘real’ and relatable characters and engaging writing, this novel was amazingly done. It was very different from what I usually read, but from time to time I love to read something like this.. From the title you can guess the story is about a secret…obviously, but this novel is about more than that. It’s a story about life, famil
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Not bad, as far as my local book club choices go. The style is certainly engaging and I kept wanting to read more and more from the first page, but it was surprisingly predictable given the popularity of the book. Decent, good for a half-drunken, wine-filled discussion (we have a classy book club).

I still think this would have been a good chance to sneak some gay porn into my book club...

Aestas Book Blog
Apr 04, 2014 Aestas Book Blog rated it really liked it


From the moment I read that quote posted above, I was hooked into the story. Or, I was hooked into the idea of it. I was just so curious and I really just wanted to know WHAT was in that damn letter!!!! I wasn't even planning to read this book now even though I had it on my eventual TBR so I started it thinking that maybe I'd just find out the secret and stop there... But the story sucked me in and I just kept reading and reading and reading and it be
Mandy Crider
Aug 19, 2015 Mandy Crider rated it really liked it
What if? That's what comes to mind when I think of this novel. This book definitely wasn't what I imagined. I envisioned an entirely different plot when I read that a woman would read a note to be read only in the event of his death. Liane takes her readers on an unimaginable ride, one with a mind blowing ending. I really enjoy books like this. I like to go into a book predicting one thing and then having the author rip that story from my hands and put something even more fascinating in them. Gr ...more
Jun 01, 2014 La-Lionne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-sure
I really don't know what possessed me to buy this book, and a paperback at that. I usually buy paperbacks of ebooks that I really loved, either to re-read it later, or just to have them on my bookshelf looking pretty :). I took a gamble on this one and it didn't pay off. I only read about 25 pages and it bored me to tears.

A wife is sitting with a letter on her lap, undecided if she should opened it or not. For the life of me I couldn't understand why she was being so apprehensive to open it. It
The paperback edition of The Husband's Secret is my first time ever winning a First Reads giveaway on goodreads! I read this title once before in 2013 but was eager to re-read it. After my 2015 re-read, I stand by my original 5 stars.

Liane Moriarty is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

The Husband's Secret offers a moving portrait of three women who are all dealing with their own personal struggles, and I swear Ms. Moriarty has personally lived the lives of all her characters because they are so well-written. The c
Bookables Heather
Jul 12, 2016 Bookables Heather rated it really liked it
4.25 if we want to get super technical. It did have a very slow start but after that it picked up a ton!
I really enjoyed this book! It made me think, it made me feel conflicted and it made me feel for characters I wasn't sure I wanted to feel for.
A gripping story of secrets and lies and families.
Def my favorite book from Liane Moriarty.

Would you guys like a video review?!
Wendy Darling
Well, I stayed up all night reading this one. A well-crafted story that's humorous, but also a serious look at all the secrets we keep from one another--and ourselves.

Definitely looking into other books by this author.

Jul 19, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Three women and the Berlin Wall who have nothing in common are systematically drawn together as their lives and the fall of the suffocating wall are intertwined. The author explores relationships in its many forms. How ego can get in the way of a fulfilling relationship or ruin a relationship or life. How nothing is so neatly contained as it appears. When life gets messy, we must redefine the the borders and accept the excess.

The lives of the three women loosely follow the history of the Berlin
Nov 17, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow!! This is a really good novel. Starts out a little slow but that seems appropriate. The author has taken a innocuous action (searching for a souvenir from your past to give to a child who has a keen interest in the subject) and demonstrated how one small act can change your life forever.

It really makes you think about all the little things you do that don't seem to matter......the things that couldn't possibly have an effect on you or anyone else.

Nov 17, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first thought after reading The Husband's Secret was "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive". This creative and complicated work of fiction intertwining the lives of three families was certainly engaging and has more than one shocker along the way, not to mention the clever epilogue. This is my second Liane Moriarty novel and I certainly plan on reading more!
Elle (LitSiren)
Dec 04, 2013 Elle (LitSiren) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, cont-rom
5 stars

I finished it. What a relief! It was quite emotional rollercoaster, trust me. You have to prepare mentally and emotionally if you've decided to read The Husband's Secret. I think you have to have box of tissues nearby unless you're me.

It's bittersweet, this book. I loved it because the plotline was amazing and the writing was brilliant. At the same time, I hated it too because of the heavy and intense feelings I'd experience from reading it -- betrayal, truths, lies, tragedy, anger, resen
Nancy S
I have read great reviews of this book, and I really wanted to like it. The story idea is wonderful, and the characters pretty realistic. However, I had a hard time getting through it. We knew from reading the descriptions that it was going to bring the various characters all together, but it just seemed to take too long to get there. I found myself wanting to skip pages, and that is never a good thing.
Secret: Keeping information hidden from others --Merriam Webster

Photo: LEH.nicor

Question: If you found a letter addressed to you with instructions that you weren't to open it until a certain event had happened, would you go ahead and read it anyway?

Before I settled in to read this book, I thought long and hard about this question. What would I do? Would I be strong enough to resist the urge to open the letter? Could I live with the potential guilt of not following the instructions and thereby be
Cleo Bannister
Lianne Moriarty has produced an immensely readable book in the Husband's Secret because it includes all the ingredients of a good story; a believable plot, characters that are well developed and writing that pulls the reader in from the first page. The short chapters; there are 59 for this 400 page book, alternate between three women's lives plus excerpts from an April day in 1984 when Rachel's daughter Janie made a decision which was to have repercussions years later.

The story concerns the fate
I love the premise and inspiration for this novel:

Two years ago Liane Moriarty stumbled upon a fascinating article about real life deathbed confessions. She learned about Christian Spurling, who confessed on his deathbed to faking a notorious photo of the Loch Ness Monster. There was a famous songwriter who was dying of cancer and wrote a letter admitting, after years of adamant denials, that she had plagiarized a lullaby melody. Then there was the hapless man who, after suffering a stroke, con
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Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist's Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies.

Her breakout novel The Husband's Secret sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and has
More about Liane Moriarty...

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“Falling in love was easy.anyone could fall. It was holding on that was tricky” 193 likes
“None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It's probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.” 173 likes
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