August 29, 2016
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What Alice Forgot ( B+) is the third book I have read by Liane Moriarty. She definitely is a very consistent writer; penning books that keep you interested.
Alice falls off her bicycle during spin class and sustains a head injury that obliterates all memory of the past ten years. She believes she is ten years younger, pregnant and madly in love with her husband Nick. In reality, she is a mother of three with a marriage that is completely in ruins.
In this well paced novel, Moriarty unravels the story by slowing restoring Alice’s memory. As she does, Alice discovers she hasn’t been her best self. She hasn’t been supportive of her sister Elizabeth who has struggled through numerous failed IVF procedures. Then she and her husband Nick are engaged in an ugly custody battle over children she doesn’t remember having. She can’t believe she’s the person everyone describes. What has happened in the missing ten years to explain this other Alice? When her memory is restored can she make changes and become the woman she remembers herself to be?
Anyone who reads this book will pause to exam their own lives. What would we think of our actions ten years after they occurred? Could we be critical enough to make corrections going forward?
I honestly think this book would be an excellent selection for a book club discussion. It is a glimpse into a “what if” that should be fun to explore.
June 18, 2015
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Recently, I saw an interview with Liane Moriarty author of Big Little Lies (B) where she said she is conscience of writing to a formula and she doesn’t want to do that. However, I feel it is exactly what she did here. She used the same format as that of The Husband’s Secret (B) the novel prior to this.
She takes on a big subject “bullying” and for the most part does a great job with it. Her formula is using three characters whose lives she outlines. Each one is dealing with personal issues all linking to the main plot. Eventually she brings all subplots in line with the main one.
All the players have children who are entering kindergarten for the first time. At orientation, one of the children is choked by another. In an attempt to nip the issue in the bud, the teacher has the child point out which of the children attacked her. By doing this a chain of events are set in motion with catastrophic results – someone’s death.
There is a police investigation being conducted throughout the book. In alternating chapters, we see many perspectives regarding the same events that lead up to the murder. The reader does not know who has been killed until the very ending of the book making this a very suspenseful read.
I found it very interesting that either before or after each chapter, Moriarty wrote excerpts of conversations. They all have to do with the investigation in some way. It was a quite unique approach; one I had never seen before.
All in all, Big Little Lies is a fast paced mystery with a powerful message for bullies, those who have been bullied and for everyone else who needs to understand.
June 17, 2013
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The Husband’s Secret (B) by Liane Moriarty is a novel about the power of secrets. They control the person who keeps them and can destroy those unaware. Cecilia, Tess and Rachel are victims of secrets.
Cecilia, a wife and mother, is organized to a fault. She is a multi-tasker and prepared for every eventuality. Her world derails when she discovers a letter her husband wrote many years ago meant to be found upon his death. Once she opens his letter, the secret it contains changes her life forever.
Tess runs a successful advertising business with her husband and cousin. When Will and Felicity confess to Tess that they are “in love”; her world turns upside down.
And Rachel, the school secretary, seeks closure of the unsolved murder of her daughter. She is haunted by secrets she has harbored about that day and is determined that punishment be delivered to the man she believes killed Janie.
The details of their lives can sometimes become a bit confusing but the characters are strong enough to engage the reader. By the middle of the book, the secrets and their consequences drive the story until the conclusion.
I am glad that I won this advanced edition of The Husband’s Secret I was unaware of Liane Moriarty before but now that the secret’s out I will investigate her further.