I don’t normally read two of any author’s book’s in quick succession but my book club is going to discuss this one and BIG LITTLE LIES tomorrow. I wonder if my fellow club members will be as hard pressed as I am to tell the difference between the two.
I’m quite serious. Both books have three main female characters. These women are all basically middle class, middle-aged, east-coast Australian women whose sense of self comes largely from their role in their respective families (their jobs if they have them are background features of their lives). I am already struggling to separate any of them as distinct memories in my mind and I was mixing up their names long before I finished the second book. The stories are both very (very) long, predictable tales of what can happen when people keep secrets. There are glimpses of the author’s excellent observational skills in both books (here she could easily have been writing about the community surround the Catholic primary school I attended) but ultimately they present a pretty shallow view of humanity, sometimes squirm-inducingly so. They also spell out every element of the morality tales they contain so the reader doesn’t have to think. At all. Aside from the actual plot details I can’t think of any significant way THE HUSBAND’S SECRET differs from BIG LITTLE LIES.
I know of course that many authors write to a formula, including some of my favourites, so I can’t really criticise Moriarty for making use of one. Especially one that is obviously so popular. However, having tried it twice now I’m pretty certain hers is not a formula that works for me. I was happy enough to listen to Caroline Lee’s excellent narration as I did a long stint of driving today but I’ve already decided to give away unread the third Moriarty novel I own.
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This is the 8th book I’ve read for the 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge (but it’s stretching the point to call this a review). For more information about the challenge check out my challenge progress, sign up yourself or browse the Challenge’s database of reviews.
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Narrator Caroline Lee
Publisher Bolinda Audio, 2013
Length 13 hours 48 minutes
Format audio (mp3)
Book Series standalone
Source of review copy I bought it