Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What If?

My sister Amanda recommended this book to me.  
She had recently read it for her book club.

So, I picked it up and I liked it.

Mostly, I liked it because it makes you think…
it makes you wonder and it keeps you curious.

The Husband's Secret…
and boy does he have one. 

We all have secrets. 
Don't we? 

No one's life is as neatly contained as it may appear.

Life gets messy.

 I am not into the retelling of a book…
breaking it down or providing a synopsis.
 I want to write what I thought of it...
in hopes that you might pick it up in your free time…
 and read it if you are so inclined.

Here is the jist...
There are three women who the book is built around and this secret…
this theme runs throughout the book; 
what do you do when you would rather not know something?

It is like trying to unsee something you have seen.

You can't.
So, what do you do?

This book is filled with betrayal…lies…
and truth.

Ah, the truth.

 For my wife, to be opened only in the event of my death.

There it is.
Written on the outside of a sealed envelope that you stumble upon.

Would you open it?

Before I tell you what I would do…
I feel compelled to mention that the contents of this letter..
 wasn't the real meat and potatoes of the story.

I do want to say that unlike in The Goldfinch…
I guessed what the letter admitted.
You probably will too.  

So, back to the three women…
one woman discovers a life-changing secret by her husband…
another woman is betrayed by her husband…
and finally a woman who can't let go of the pain of the past.

However, it is the consequences of this truth and the deep connections 
between the characters that unfold in the telling of the story.

The ultimate question in the book asked…
 if you found a letter addressed to you…
 with instructions not to open it until a certain event has happened…
would you go ahead and read it anyway?  

I thought about it.
What would I do?

I like to think I have a strong moral compass…
I would open the letter because it would have been written by my husband. 

I am responding to this under the pretense that
my husband wrote it and I am still happily married and I find it.

Let me tell you that if I was married…which I am not and I never have been…
 my man better not have a secret like this.

I have always had a person…
not always the same person…
but someone I could share something with.
I would hope if I ever have a husband…he will know ALL of my secrets.

I have some secrets.
Nothing like what was in this letter.
But…a few things not everyone knows.

I think everyone does.
Let's also realize…most people don't need to know everything.

What is a secret? 
Something unknown.

This guy had a secret. 

The problem with this particular secret is that it has 
a transformative effect on lives.

Secrets build walls.

I keep thinking of this…
what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.

It seems to get easier…or does it?

No, you just have to keep building the wall.

Have you read this book?  
Do you know the secret?

I guess I don't have to tell you what it said.

I will say this again…
I would have opened the letter right when I found it.

I wouldn't have thought one second about that.

I would have had to think about what to do next.

Throughout the book the author, Liane Moriarty, writes about how one woman sold Tupperware…
and her daughter was obsessed with the Berlin Wall…
and she refers to opening Pandora's Box. 
All used as metaphors, right?  

Keeping things either in or out.

What if?

There are so many secrets about our lives we'll never know.
What if I had said yes when he asked me to marry him?
What if I had taken that job in New Orleans a year or two before Hurricane Katrina?
What if I had never left San Francisco?

We could what if ourselves to death.

At the end of the book, 
the author answers some of the potential 'what ifs' 
you may have had while reading…

I liked that.  
Sometimes, I do that too.
What if I had said yes…and I create my own conclusion…
I usually end up right here…
where I am now…knowing in my heart of hearts…
I made the best decision for myself at that time.

Moriarty ends the novel with this...

None of us ever knows all of the possible courses our lives could have 
and maybe should have taken.  
It's probably just as well.  
Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever.  
Just ask Pandora.


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