So let me tell you a little about Moriarty's next work of art.
Synopsis: Cecilia Fitzpatrick is a busy woman. She has three daughters under the age of 12, is President of her parent/school association, she runs a successful Tupperware business, is highly organized and efficient, and has been happily married for 15 years. Then one day when she was digging through the attic looking for something, she comes across a sealed envelope that is labeled "For my wife Cecelia Fitzpatrick, to be opened only in the event of my death". Hmmm. An irresistible temptation, no? Especially since her husband has been acting a little strange...turning his back on sex, crying in the shower, etc. But Cecelia could never predict the demons unleashed once she reads this letter.
Tess has just been informed by her husband and her cousin/best friend/business partner that they are in love. They haven't slept together! No, no. But they are meant for each other. Horrified and deeply hurt, Tess takes her 6 year-old son and runs to stay at her mother's to try to figure out what to do.
Rachel lives for her grandson, Jacob, who is two. He is the only shining light in a life that has been filled with anger and grief, ever since her daughter Janie was murdered over twenty years ago, and her husband died soon after of a broken heart. Sure, Rachel still has her son, and but she can't quite move on since Janie's killer was never found.
In alternating narratives, these three troubled women are slowly drawn into each other's orbit, tackling a laundry list of problems ranging from menopause to murder.
My thoughts: With many authors, after you've read a few of their books, you begin to see common themes and styles emerge, with just a change in names and locale. So I find it curious and a little delightful that Moriarty does not succumb to this pitfall. Each of her three books I've read are so different. The only common denominator is women in distress.
For those that expect a fun beach read, they are going to be shocked at the depth and gravity of some of the issues here. Sure, there is plenty of humor because let's face it, some of the crap women suffer through has to be laughed at, just so we don't fall apart. But the underlying issues, in this case infidelity and all its forms, grief, middle age, deceit, forgiveness...are heavy burdens. I was enthralled by the storytelling here, but will admit that there were times when I heaved a big sigh.
I don't want to sound like the book was a huge downer, but it does make one think. Moriarty always is good for a few days of self-evaluation, and is a book club's dream. Ultimately the author always pulls you back up from your navel-gazing and offers a delicious, warm ray of sun to let you know that not all is lost. Life may not be perfect but is worth the effort to try your hardest.
A few words about the audio production: I almost squealed like a kid when I heard the first words of this audio play into my ears...Caroline Lee! She is THE VOICE for all of Kate Morton's books and I've fallen in love with her girlish, accented little performances. They delight me, and she was perfect for this book. She makes listening such a pleasure. Also a big thanks goes out to Penguin audio for providing my digital download!
Listening length: 13 hours and 44 minutes (416 pages)
4.5 out of 5 stars