Inveterate, incurable readaholic, who blogs about books and what's in 'em. If readaholism is a deadly disease, no problem. Couldn't imagine a better way to go.
Fear of commitment has always prevented me from joining a book club. The idea of obligating myself to finish a read by a time certain unnerves me, mainly because I have enough obligations and one involving my me-time, de-stress pleasure always seemed to defeat the purpose of reading.
Nevertheless, when the non-threateningly named Goodreads group, Casual Readers, chose The Husband’s Secret to read, I thought it might be a good time to give book club reading a whirl. This was an easy read with a positively attention-grabbing premise, but for me it was a tad too predicable and the story a bit padded with unnecessary, uninteresting storylines.
While there are several storylines featuring different characters, the glue holding everything together is St. Angela’s Catholic School, where Cecilia and John-Paul Fitzpatrick went to school as do their children. Of course, the Fitzpatrick’s story is the most compelling and dynamic , and I was immediately hooked by the dilemma Cecilia found herself in, and I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d do in a similar circumstance. My answers (like Cecilia) were not easily come by, and Ms. Moriarty did a fine job fleshing out all the issues and Cecilia’s torment. I could feel what this character was feeling, and what more can a reader ask for?
Another storyline that engrossed me was Rachel’s, an elderly woman working at the school. Without giving too much away, she is wracked with seething anger and sadness over a tragedy that befell her years ago. Rachel cannot let go, particularly because she does not know whom to blame for her misfortune. I could also feel this character’s pain and anger quite easily and was quite interested in seeing if and how she resolved it.
Unfortunately, there was one storyline that didn’t impress me as much. Tess, a former classmate of the Fitzpatricks, comes home to help her ailing mother and flee marital woes. Lord knows, I am a fan of parallel storylines, but Tess’ character and her dilemma really did not hold my interest and felt more like a somewhat clumsy contrivance to introduce the character of Connor, who helps add to the main mystery of the story. This wouldn’t be so bad except Tess’ story takes up quite a bit of time for someone not very integral to the tale, and it is a rather boring story. I simply didn’t care about her or her marriage.
So, if I liked 2 out of 3 storylines, what’s my beef, you might well ask. In a nutshell, predictability. It didn’t take a genius to figure out John Paul’s secret. It didn’t take a genius to figure out the source of Rachel’s pain. As I read, I simply felt I know how the story would unfold, and I was not proved wrong.
Still, because Cecilia’s and Rachel’s stories were so compelling, I did enjoy this book.