The next few posts are unfortunately going to be shorter ones since I don’t have as much time as I would like to post blog entries. But I’m still glad to share my opinion on the books though 🙂
This was quite a thrilling page-turner and I was quite surprised at how I got sucked into the book immediately. The premise was incredibly interesting as well. The idea that the man you have been married to has been harboring a dark secret, and having discovered a letter to be read after his death, who could resist the temptation to read it? SPOILERS AHEAD!
There are 3 women who’s stories are told, each of which are connected by one particular incident that happened several years ago – the murder of a local girl. One is the mother of the girl, one is a woman who is dealing with marital problems and meets up with one of the suspects, and the third is a woman who is indirectly related to the girl by a letter she discovers from her husband.
The last woman’s moral dilemma, the first one of many to come, was very realistic. I immediately put myself in her place, trying to think of what in the world I would have done. On the one hand, like her, I want to trust my husband and give him the benefit of the doubt, because my world would come crashing around me if I actually believed he would betray my trust. On the other hand, my curiosity would have eaten away until I could no longer bear it. Like her, I, too, thought it was very likely that the husband had an affair and was confessing it in this letter. I actually support her decision to have read it because, regardless of the secret, a good marriage should not hide secrets between the spouses. Of course, given what this secret turned out to be, perhaps some things are better left unsaid.
Her second moral dilemma stemmed from the fact that now she knew the secret, should she tell someone, given that it will most definitely destroy her life, and more importantly, her kids’ lives forever. She has to weigh this against the idea of justice for the poor girl that died and the poor mother of the girl who continues to suffer. She makes a fateful decision at that point to keep her counsel, choosing her family over justice.
Her third moral dilemma arises from the fact that not telling anyone about the secret resulted in a sequence of events where her own beloved child ended up in a tragic situation and her guilt and grief forces her to confessing to the mother of the murdered girl.
The second woman’s story that is told is particular sad. Her husband is having an affair with her best friend and they decide to break it to her – well, kind of an affair. They haven’t actually slept together but they are in love with each other without acting on it, which I found bizarre. Her world, too, comes crashing down, and they, too, have a child who will be affected by this revelation. I truly felt anger towards both husband and best friend, who were clearly pretty selfish. Based on how they ended the relationship, it’s clear they could have chosen to go their separate ways if they wanted to, and they didn’t actually weigh the fallout of their decision. I guess, this is the opposite of what Carol was going through, where the husband has a secret and doesn’t tell the wife; in this case they do choose to tell the wife. When I heard the best friend’s story I felt a little sympathy for her, but I still felt like I would never be able to forgive her or trust my husband again, even though the wife sadly chose to go back to the husband when he came crying back to her because he couldn’t bear to be parted from his son. And I felt especially sad for the guy she hooked up with, who clearly was in love with her, and had already been dealt a harsh blow in life.
The mother of the murdered girl was by far the saddest story, and the pain, grief and guilt that led her to try and murder the man she suspected killed her daughter was incredibly understandable given her situation. And the fact that she ended up accidentally hurting an innocent child instead made it that much worse. In effect, the two families cancelled each other’s sins – and it’s horrifying to think of what might have been if she had actually managed to hit the guy she suspected of killing her daughter since his life was already a huge tragic tale suffering from the effects of his girlfriend’s death and the woman whom he loved leaving him to go back to a cheating husband.
In the end this book was chock full of suspense and emotion. A tale well told and was hard to put down.