Book Review | The Husband's Secret

21 October 2015

I LOVED this book.  Secret lives.  Lots of sub-stories.  It was captivating and full of amazing character development.  And because I love words and incredibly formed thoughts, here of plenty of book passages that left my heart nodding:

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“You’ve been here before. It won’t kill you. It feels like you can’t breathe, but you actually are breathing. It feels like you’ll never stop crying, but you actually will.”


“Marriage was a form of insanity; love hovering permanently on the edge of aggravation.”


“Perhaps nothing was ever “meant to be.” There was just life, and right now, and doing your best. Being a bit “bendy.”
 


“It seemed to her everyone had too much self-protective pride to truly strip off down to their souls in front of their long-term partners. It was easier to pretend there was nothing more to know, to fall into an easygoing companionship. It was almost embarrassing to be truly intimate with your spouse; because how could you watch someone floss one minute, and the next minute share your deepest passion or tritest of fears? It was almost easier to talk about that sort of thing before you’d shared a bathroom and a bank account and argued over the packing of the dishwasher.”

“All these years there had been a Tupperware container of bad language in her head, and now she opened it and all those crisp, crunchy words were fresh and lovely, ready to be used.”


“You could try as hard as you could to imagine someone else’s tragedy—drowning in icy waters, living in a city split by a wall—but nothing truly hurts until it happens to you. Most of all, to your child.”
 


“It was like she was thinking, How far can I go with this? How much more can I fit in my life without losing control?”


“It wasn’t logical, but the better you knew someone, the more blurry they became. The accumulation of facts made them disappear. It was more interesting wondering if someone did or didn’t like country music than knowing one way or the other.”


“Why did she give up wine for Lent? Polly was more sensible. She had given up strawberry jam. Cecilia had never seen Polly show more than a passing interest in strawberry jam, although now, of course, she was always catching her standing at the open fridge, staring at it longingly. The power of denial.”
 


“This was how it could be done. This was how you lived with a terrible secret. You just did it. You pretended everything was fine. You ignored the deep, cramplike pain in your stomach. You somehow anesthetized yourself so that nothing felt that bad, but nothing felt that good either.”


“Polly had arrived in the world outraged to discover that her sisters had gotten there before her.”


“Nobody ever told you that being a mother is all about making what seemed like thousands of tiny decisions.” 


“She was a far better mother when she had an audience.” 


“Their uptight concerns about what other people thought seemed like such a waste. Why had they been so careful and contained with their love?”


“But women like Tess didn’t seem to have that need to share the ordinary facts of their lives, and that made Cecilia desperate to know them.”        


“This Thursday night felt like adolescence: exquisitely painful and sharply beautiful.”


“And once the waves passed, there would still be the love. It was an entirely different feeling from the uncomplicated, unstinting adoration she'd felt as a young bride, walking down the aisle to that serious, handsome man; but,she knew,that no matter how much she hated him for what he'd done, she would always still love him. It was still there, like a deep seam of gold in her heart. It would always be there.” 


Upward and onward,

 

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