The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – Book Review

Moriarty has a very particular style – she writes interesting, wealthy women and families, and tells their tales leaving a key part until the very end of the book. I loved it in Big Little Lies and enjoyed it in Truly Madly Guilty, and while it’s been over a year since I read either of those, I found it a bit repetitive in this book. I wanted to care about Tess, who needs to get away from her husband in Melbourne for a while and takes her son to stay with her mother in Sydney. I wanted to care for Cecelia who discovers an unopened letter from her husband which she is instructed to only open after his death, but he is very much alive and the wondering about what is in the letter plays in her mind. But I really struggled. Part of it was that I really struggled with the fatphobia which is every present as Tess deals with her cousin, Felicity, who suddenly becomes thin and is thus a threat. I know this could be argued in many ways, however for the first third of the book, Tess’s attitude is so tied to weight and it’s shit, really. This is how society thinks – fat is bad, if you are fat you are a loser who can’t achieve anything unless you lose weight, if you lose weight you are then successful and a threat and you must be happier if you lose weight. Guess what? It’s not true. It’s this very attitude that is so destructive, and it’s everywhere. I’m so sick of it, and I know that society isn’t about to change. What really annoyed me about it is that, because I’m so aware of it, I wanted to see how important Felicity losing weight was to the plot. And it’s not. It’s all about Tess putting her fatphobia onto the situation, and it wasn’t needed. Sigh.

Big Little Lies vs Big Little Lies *spoiler alerts*

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (audiobook read by Caroline Lee)

Set in the fiction Sydney beachside suburb of Pirriwee , Big Little Lies investigates a death that happens during a school trivia night at the local primary school. However, it’s revealed in gradual dribs and drabs, first introducing the colourful cast and then eventually reveal who dies, how and why. It’s fabulous. The audiobook reading by Caroline Lee is wonderful – she brings the characters to life in a fabulous way, each separate and perfect. I found the book a very funny read, even though when I mentioned the humour to friends who had watched the show, they said that it definitely wasn’t a comedy. And it’s not, but it is very funny!

When I heard that the show was set in the US, I was surprised because, to me, it feels like a really Australian story. But with all that juiciness, it was going to translate well.

Big Little Lies (TV Review)

There were a lot of little things that I didn’t like being changed in this adaptation – like the fact that the book starts on Madeline’s 40th birthday. It’s not a big thing, but it’s important. Then there is the whole “Avenue Q” thing, which I didn’t see as being a great addition, and then the French au pair takes a backseat, and that for me, was a delightful addition to the tension in the book. I also didn’t like the changes to Jane – in the book, she is initially in denial about the events of the night when she conceived Ziggy, but the film has her with far more of a need for closure/revenge, and I liked her as someone still dealing with her trauma. One thing that translated beautifully was the Celeste/Perry situation – very, very hard to watch and a massive hats off to Nicole Kidman. I also really liked that there were some characters who, in the book, were quite flat that were really filled out in this. Did I love it? Yes, I loved the book, I loved the show, I’m quite concerned that they are going to squeeze another series out… will it work? I don’t know.