What I am Reading – The Husband’s Secret

Secrets are generally terrible. Beauty is not hidden–only ugliness and deformity.” ― L.M. Montgomery

Once again, I have discovered a book about a marriage where the husband has a secret. My own husband complained, “Why is it always the husband? Don’t wives ever keep secrets?” I thought about that and I realized that while wives may keep secrets from their husbands, they almost always tell a friend. A secret revealed to someone else becomes not quite as sinister and loses some of its power. This one, locked in the heart of the husband, does not.

The Husband’s Secret is one of those books that surprises you and despite the terrible secret that one and then two and finally three of the characters carry, I found them, especially Cecilia, mother of three daughters who supplements her income by being a star Tupperware Lady, to be very entertaining and very real. She reminds me of the busy young mothers I meet on walks through my own neighborhood.

While her husband is away on a business trip, Cecilia rummages through boxes in her attic in search of a piece of her own past for a child’s school project.  She accidentally stumbles upon a dusty sealed envelope marked:

                                   For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick

                                  To be opened in the event of my death

Admit it. I have you right there, don’t I? What Cecilia does with the letter, and how the secret it contains spills into the lives of the other characters, is the story. Liane Moriarty cleverly weaves in the lives and subplots of her other characters. Tess, who has fled her own crumbling marriage, and Rachel, the widowed secretary at Cecilia’s younger daughters’ school also carry secrets.

Writing in the third person, Moriarty takes you into the minds and hearts of these three women allowing you to feel their heartache and follow their decision-making. This would be an easy book to spoil for you, so I will leave you with this thought. In the beginning, The Husband’s Secret may feel like a typical “wife who has been wronged” tale,  but it is so much more than that. I found myself thinking about the characters whose lives were impacted by the letter Cecilia found long after I had finished reading the story. This one is well worth reading and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.




What I am Reading – The Cuckoo’s Calling

“As for the pseudonym, I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer.” J.K. Rowling


I need to tell you two things in the interest of full-disclosure before I begin: I love Harry Potter and reread the entire saga at least once a year; I have the utmost respect for J.K. Rowling as a writer and as a person.

Having said that, I didn’t like The Casual Vacancy. I didn’t like the characters – not even one. Rowling chose to throw out a word in the first fifty pages that I abhor and would love to see eradicated from the English language. My friends reading this know it must be bad because I am known for using a few choice words when I feel the situation calls for them. In my humble (and I am very humble in the case of J.K. Rowling) opinion, she didn’t need to use that word. I stopped reading the book about a third of the way through. This is something I allow myself to do now that I am “mature”.

As a result, I almost didn’t read The Cuckoo’s Calling. I am sure that you probably know this, but in case you don’t, Rowling published this book under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. Mr. Galbraith’s debut detective novel received a lukewarm reception. Welcome to the world of the first-time writer, Mr. Galbraith.  And then, thanks to the transparency of social media, in this case, Twitter, it became known that Robert Galbraith was actually J.K Rowling. The book became an overnight sensation.

I love detective stories and have been reading them forever. I was only about eight years old when I started reading The Bobbsey Twins. Not long after that, I advanced to Sherlock Holmes who is still my benchmark. I am always on the lookout for a good detective series and I am hoping that more books will follow The Cuckoo’s Calling.

Trust Rowling to get it right. Her detective, Comoran Strike (Yes. Comoran Strike. Isn’t that a wonderful name?) Is deliciously flawed, as all good detectives are. His reluctant assistant, Robin, is definitely not. His office is a disaster. It doesn’t help that he is actually living in it. There is a lot more including his crazy ex-girlfriend but I am not going to spoil it for you. Rowling did a lot of research, which shines through, in order to support both the creation of her pseudonym, Galbraith, an ex-special forces officer, and her detective who served in Afghanistan before ending up camping out in his office. She doesn’t back away from using profanity in this book, either, but at least it made sense to me. The characters in whose mouths she puts the words probably do talk like this.

Strike is hired to find out if London supermodel, Lula Landry, known to her friends as Cuckoo, really did commit suicide. He finds himself blundering through a world of rock-stars, paparazzi, druggies and multi-millionaires. I couldn’t help liking Comoran Strike, even though in the footsteps of Conan Doyle, Rowling gave him almost more bad points than good ones.

If, like me, you love detective stories, I think you will enjoy The Cuckoo’s Calling.


The Cuckoo's Calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling





The Squeak Who Roared!

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”― Vince Lombardi Jr.

Among the many treasures my marriage brought to me were eleven nieces and nephews. My blog today is about one of them: Brigid McEvilly Wilson.

Her uncle nicknamed Brigid and her younger sister, “The Squeaks” because like most little girls they talked in high-pitched voices when they were excited.  Despite the nickname, Brigid tended to be on the shy side. While she was reserved, in everything she did, be it Irish Step Dancing, swimming, or her beloved horseback riding, she always participated with her whole heart.

One day I was sitting on the deck with my mother-in-law watching a swirl of grandchildren racing around and she leaned over to me and said, “Kathleen, you watch Brigid.”

We offered all of our nieces and nephews the opportunity to go to Outward Bound when they turned sixteen. Brigid was one of the kids who decided to go even though it involved getting on an airplane something she was terrified of and avoided whenever she could.

My husband and I picked her up at the end of her course. I was horrified to see a raw and painful abrasion on one of her legs extending from her ankle to mid-thigh. At that point it was several days old and it still looked awful. We asked her what happened.

“I slid down the rock face and scraped it. They said I could go home but I promised Gib (her grandmother) I would finish. So I stayed.”

Yesterday, she participated in the Timberman Ironman 70.3 in Gilford, NH. There were 2000 participants competing in an open water swim, bike race and half-marathon. Watching to see her as she came out of the water after her swim, I was slapped smartly on the arm as she flashed by me as if to say, “Hey, pay attention.”

Waiting for her to finish the bike race, the chair next to me was unoccupied, as her yellow bike streaked around the turn, I thought I heard her grandmother say,“Kathleen, you watch Brigid.” Her grandmother is gone now and when I turned the chair remained empty.

Brigid finished her race with a time of 5:57:48. We had such a wonderful time watching with her dad, Eamonn McEvilly and her husband, Todd Wilson, our brave and beautiful Brigid.