What an intriguing premise for a novel…..A woman who appears to have the perfect life (happy marriage, great kids, lovely home, engaging personality) is rummaging around in the attic when she stumbles on a letter, written by her husband and addressed to her with the caveat: “To be opened after my death.”
How odd, she thinks. He isn’t sick. He isn’t dying. When could he have written this and what could possibly be so secret that he doesn’t want me to read the letter now?
Since hubby is on a business trip, she debates whether or not to open the envelop and read the letter. Suffice it to say that she does read it and that it will rock her world and that of her children and the members of her close-knit Australian community.
The book begins as three inter-connected stories, each focusing on a different woman. It’s not immediately clear why Moriarty takes us away from the compelling tale of the wife who’s debating whether to read her husband’s letter, but eventually we see what’s in store and the results are riveting.
“The Husband’s Wife” is one of those compulsively readable novels, part thriller, part domestic drama, part woman on the edge of a breakdown. Moriarty gets the details just right and her characters ring true. I’ll probably go back and read her earlier books.