The novel traces the lives of three women who live in the same community in Australia. Cecilia, a seemingly "perfect" woman who has it all, who discovers a letter from her husband to be opened in the event of his death. Only, he's not dead, and though she knows she shouldn't read it -- in fact her husband begs her not to -- she cannot resist temptation.
Then there's Tess, a woman who secretly suffers from a case of the painfully shy's, who discovers that her husband is in love with her best friend. And finally Rachel, a woman who lost a child to violence twenty years ago who's convinced she knows who her daughter's murderer is. If only she can get the police to listen to her.
These women's lives -- though they don't know it yet -- are intertwined like a French braid. And though you know that as a reader, though you know that they will of course all come together, that they will be part of the solution or resolution of each other's plights, I found myself thoroughly engrossed. Occasionally it felt like I was watching a train wreck in progress or a car accident, and in fact, that analogy ended up playing out in the end as car accidents bookend the novel. One is the catalyst for its beginning, the other for its end.
Moriarty does a good job of creating distinct characters in this novel. Each has a clear voice, a complete history and a clear crisis that needs to be resolved. And the book moves at a crisp pace, the tightly wound plot moving it forward, forward, forward.
So, onto next week, where we're taking a turn towards the surreal future with The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.
And finally, there's been a bit of shuffling in the order of our top 5 reads, but the books themselves remain the same. If you're new to this blog, these five books are great place to start reading: