Liane Moriarty, but it was very hard to tell if I was going to like the book. I went back and forth. There are three main plotlines, and early on I wasn't sure how they related. Now that I have finished the book, the best words to describe it are "emotional roller coaster!!"
I was hoping for more mystery surrounding the secret, but there wasn't any. The book is really about the impact of that secret. What if people know about the secret? Are you the same person? Was everything you knew about that person a lie? What about the people who don't know about the secret? Do they deserve to know? Will their lives be better or worse with that knowledge. The book is essentially asking, "What if....?"
Cecilia Fitzpatrick is constantly asking herself, "what if?" Her husband John-Paul is the one with the secret. Her husband left her a letter to be opened only upon his death. John-Paul isn't dead, but Cecilia finds the letter by accident. Initially, Cecilia isn't sure whether or not she should read the letter. John-Paul doesn't want her to. Cecilia doesn't want to, but the letter was just too peculiar to ignore. John-Paul's anxiety about the letter was just too hard to ignore. Once she reads the letter, her life goes into a tailspin. Cecilia is the "perfect" wife and mother to their three daughters Polly, Esther, and Isabel. Their lives are perfect. Cecilia makes sure her family has everything they need. Everything in their house has a place. She has the perfect job as a Tupperware saleswoman. Everything was just right until that letter and its secrets surfaced.
Another woman, Tess O'Leary knows her husband, Will's, secret. He's in love or at least think he's in love with her cousin Felicity. Nice cousin isn't she? Don't worry this little love triangle isn't a spoiler because it's revealed in the second chapter. By the end of the book this little tidbit of information does play a huge role in Tess and Will's future. If Will and Felicity hadn't confessed their feelings, would they have let Tess continue on in ignorance? What does Tess do with this knowledge? She runs away with their son, Liam. She runs away from their problems. She runs to her mother, Lucy. She runs away and very quickly embarks on a rather impulsive path.
Rachel Crowley doesn't have a secret, but one is being kept from her. Rachel's teenage daughter, Janie, was murdered in 1984 and her killer is out there somewhere. The killer is free. Will she ever know why Janie died? Will she ever have closure? Rachel's husband, Ed, died years ago. Her son, Rob, her daughter-in-law, Lauren, and her grandson, Jacob, are preparing to move away. Soon Rachel will be left alone with her thoughts. The thoughts of Janie and her murder have never gone away. She always wonders what kind of woman Janie could have become?
The book starts off a little slow, but I quickly found myself engrossed in the story. Initially, it might not seem like all of these stories relate to each other but they do. Everyone is at a stage in their lives when they are pondering, "what if?" Should you open Pandora's Box? Revealing the truth or learning of the truth doesn't always make your life better. Liane Moriarty certainly knows how to immerse her readers in an engaging and emotional story. I would definitely pick up a book by her again!!
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Penguin) as part of the monthly book club selection with She Reads