Rating – 7/10
Worth reading – YES
Having never read anything by the Australian author previously, I was curious about this book which is currently number two on the New York times bestseller list. After speed reading the amazon kindle sample, I was hooked and just had to get it.
Genre-wise I found it somewhere between chick-lit and drama/mystery as far as fiction goes. Its a story set between Sydney and Melbourne, about three different families whose lives become increasingly interwoven. There are two husbands with secrets -One is revealed quite early on in the story. The other’s secret is the story’s driving force. It is in a letter addressed to his wife Cecelia to be read on his death, she finds the letter whilst he is still alive and it is the revelation of his huge secret that ushers in catharsis. My guess at what the secret was, ended up being correct (mostly because figuring out whodunit is one of my most aggressively enjoyable pastimes!) The author builds suspense beautifully throughout the novel. What stood out to me was just the way she explored human relationships and how people perceive themselves, friends/friends and strangers. The Berlin wall parallel was an odd and interesting addition to the story. Its really just a very human story about navigating relationships – the fat cousin/skinny cousin dynamic, the mother in law from hell situation, staying married for the kid(s) when you’re not in love anymore, dealing with the death of a loved one etc.
This book would make a fantastic holiday read – something fun to flit through on the plane or at the beach/pool. It is really funny and lighthearted yet engaging enough to be difficult to put down. For those who read when they’re miserable this would also be a great accompaniment to haagen dazs whilst going through a breakup, redundancy or any general crappy situation. I can see why it’s rated highly on goodreads.