Tuesday 26 May 2015

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Last week was the Sydney Writer's Festival. One of the events I attended was a conversation with Liane Moriarty.

I read and fell in love with Big Little Lies last year and I've been meaning to read some of her back list ever since.

I took my copy of The Husband's Secret along with me to be signed. Naturally I started reading it throughout the day...I very quickly finished it in a couple of greedy, gulping reading sessions over the weekend.

Moriarty writes quick, easy compelling books, and she does it so well. Her stories are character driven which is why you feel so close to them and involved in their lives. They are believable, nuanced, complex beings. They could be your best friends; they could be you.

At the SWF, Moriarty said she likes to explore how good people do evil things sometimes - that this is the thing in life she is trying to work out. It sits very closely next to my thing - trying to understand man's inhumanity to man - which is no doubt one of the reasons why I respond so strongly to her stories. Moral dilemma's and domestic compromise drive Moriarty's books - along with her characters, you seesaw between what is the right or wrong thing to do.
Moriarty in Conversation in The Loft

I did pick the main twist or the whodunnit fairly early on with both Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret. However this did not stop my enjoyment of either story. In fact, it added to my pleasure as I love it when I am proven to be right!

I thoroughly enjoyed the 'sliding doors' epilogue in THS that explored some of the things that might have happened if the key players had made different choices. It also gave me one of my key, "I knew it, I knew it, I knew it" moments!

The Husband's Secret has been reviewed by many wonderful bloggers over the past two years, so I wont repeat their comments, I'll just give a shout out to a few of my favourite links. (If you'd like to add your review link please feel free to add it to the comments section below).

Heidi @...But Books Are Better
Beth Fish Reads and
Melissa @Avid Reader's Musings

View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from The Loft
One of the curious comments from Moriarty though, was to do with the growing trend in the US market about adding 'trigger warnings' to the covers of books that might make people feel sad. Apparently she has had a few upset emails from readers saying she should warn readers that her books deal with sad and difficult topics.

We, in the audience, on Thursday were horrified.

I've been thinking about it ever since.
Why did this horrify me so much?

For me reading is about the emotional journey.

I don't want to be forewarned that someone is going to die, or suffer domestic violence, or be involved in an accident. I don't need a cover sticker to flag that the story contains adultery, childhood illness or religious references. I want to discover this for myself within the flow of the story.

If there are enough twists and turns or differences in perception then I want the pleasure of a reread to see how the author forewarns of us these issues, but I don't want a sticker on the cover to tell me so before my first read.

I would suggest that the blurb on the back cover, the quotes from other authors on the title page and a quick read of the first page are enough to tell you whether this book is for you or not. Even it's placement in the bookshop or library gives you clues about it's genre and style.

But it has got me curious. Very curious.
Do you like the idea of trigger warnings on covers?

1 comment:

  1. Sigh, soon book wil have warnings like those you find on packets of peanuts ... "May contain peanuts" or clothing labels "Do not iron while wearing" !


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.