I finished another excellent book!
This one has been on the bestseller list for quite some time (the NY Times list) and one of my best friends recommended it to me. She said I would really like it and she was correct!
The story is set in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. It is contemporary fiction.
Cecelia Fitzpatrick is searching for some things in her attic when she discovers a letter addressed to her from her husband, John-Paul to be opened upon his death. She becomes very curious and asks him about it. He tells her not to open it. Cecelia is a very successful businesswoman, a pillar of the community, and a very involved mother to Isabella, Esther, and Polly. John-Paul is always traveling for his career, yet is a devoted father to the three girls as well.
Meanwhile, an older woman named Rachel, is still mourning the death of her only daughter, Janie. Janie was murdered in 1984 and would be about Cecelia's age. Rachel works at the local private, Catholic school where one of her daughter's former boyfriends is the PE coach. Rachel doesn't know that they dated each other. Connor really cared about Janie when they were teenagers and sees a therapist for some issues regarding his past. He is a very well liked teacher and all the moms think he is wonderful....even little Polly (age 6) Cecelia's youngest daughter, has a crush on him.
And then there's Tess. Tess and her cousin Felicity have always been closer than sisters. Their moms are twins and they have grown up doing everything together. Tess is married to Will and has a little boy named Liam. Will and Felicity have just confessed to Tess that they have fallen in love. She is stunned, betrayed, and angry. She takes Liam out of school to go visit her mom. While she is at her mom's she runs into Connor whom she used to date. They begin to see each other and she tells him what she is going through. She enrolls Liam in the local Catholic school where Rachel works and he begins to thrive, unlike at his old school where he was a victim of bullying.
One day, Cecelia decides to open the letter....and what she discovers will change the course of her life...and the lives of Tess....and of Rachel. All three barely know each other yet this letter will have repercussions on their lives.
What is the secret?? and how does it affect these 3 families??
Another amazing novel that didn't take long to read!
It is fast-paced and interesting to me because it is set in Australia.
The author did a fantastic job of developing each character. I was most sympathetic with Tess...and then with Cecelia.
On the front of the book there is this statement: "the trouble with the truth is that it can change everything...." and boy does it, in this plot line!
I found the story very spell-binding especially with the introduction about Pandora and her box. "Pandora" is Cecelia and the "box" is the letter, symbolically.
Secrets can be awful and secrets can bring you freedom. This secret of John-Paul's is both. It brings freedom to many of the characters in the story.
There are several moral dilemmas in this book and I loved that!! It is a very thought-provoking book and I found my self asking "what would I do if my husband left me a secret like that?"
The last chapter centers around what would happen if........(and I can't tell you more than that or else it will spoil the story!)
If you are looking for a good book to read while on summer vacation, this is it!
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to some language and content).
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.