I didn’t post yesterday, I’m still working on my post for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt on the Chariot tarot card. It’s been a crazy few days and I’m exhausted. Not in a state of mind that will allow proper edition. In the meantime, let me share a bit of a discovery I made at my grandparents’ place while we grabbed our furniture.
I found – in French – The Husband’s Secret; translation by Beatrice Taupeau with Albin Michel. I mention it because Albin Michel usually has great translations. And I was agreeably surprised in fact; I actually left one book on the shelf because the translation was painful. This one was good.
It’s not my usual reading: I’m more of a fantasy girl, and free books 😛 . This one I’m not sure: it may fall under mystery but then again I have never been focused on genres anyway. Let’s just say that Pandora has nothing on the three main characters. And Pandora didn’t know what she might unleash; neither do they.
This is a novel that overlaps the stories of three women who are faced with the dilemma that truth can offer. Cecilia finds a letter in her attic written by her husband after he dies. Should she or should she not open it? And when she does… her life changes. Tess is being told that her husband is in love with her cousin, her best friend. They crush her with their truth and she needs to figure out how to handle it. To do so she leaves Melbourne and moves back to her mother’s in Sydney where her son Liam is enrolled at St Angela, where she and Felicity her cousin used to go to school. There she meets Rachel McCrowley, whose daughter was murdered 28 years ago and who cannot let go. She’s certain she knows who the killer is but he still is free. And now, after losing her daughter and her husband, her son and his wife tell her that they will move to New York with her grandson, the only one who can reach her heart.
I enjoyed how the stories weave in and out of each other. I also found the characters compelling; well I read the book in a few hours. They’re selfish and generous. They’re real.
I actually didn’t like Cecilia in the sense that she isn’t for me a likeable character for all her ‘perfection’. Mostly because she considers everything that happens around her as happening to her. Everything revolves around her feeling, her sense of uncertainty. And I found it compelling and convincing because I can imagine how once your world has been turned upside down, everything seems to unsettle you.
Rachel Crowley is clothed in her sorrow and obsessed with resolving her daughter’s murder even after 28 years. She’s realizing that she hasn’t spent the time and energy to get close to her son, even though he’s the only child she has left. She oscillates between the sorrow and the hatred for the man she believes killed her daughter.
Tess O’Leary oscillates between feelings of loving her husband and cousin and wanting to make them pay for the hurt they caused her.
These three women have to make choices based on what they know, what they discover. Is the truth worth saving? Worth hiding? Worth discovering? Why? A very real and human approach in so many ways.
The only thing I could say that didn’t work; whether it’s the translation or the writing I can’t tell. And I can relate to that one because I struggle with it most of the time too: sometimes it felt like I was told what was going instead of being shown. I lost a few details en route because of it. And went back a few pages to make sure I had it right.
It’s a worthy read.