#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

While Caitlin had gone to my father’s grave
to pay respects to a dead man,
Mother & I had gone to Church
to pay respects to the dead
Son of God.

Even as David had kept secrets from my mother,
he had kept secrets from me,
yet there wasn’t one secret either of us kept from him.

Machines had kept my father’s body alive,
his soul hovering in Purgatory,
while Mother & David had enjoyed heaven
through adultery.

Mother was as Goddess,
for she had taken us to an empty grave,
only to resurrect my father from the dead
with a few words.

Had David allowed my father to die,
he could’ve loved my mother without sin.
For her,
he had risked his eternal life,
even, in her own way,
she had considered herself
above God’s law.

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Book Review: The Husband’s Secret

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Is it possible to enjoy a book even if you don’t like (or relate to) any of the (main) characters?

Yes, for such was the case with The Husband’s Secret.

Because the plot was compelling (e.g. The DaVinci Code), I couldn’t put it down.  Compelling characters, however, give a book “re-readability,” so this story was a one-time read.

One of the most frustrating things about this book was the hook; it hooked, but it took a helluva long time for Cecilia to get around to opening that letter.  But, this nasty little trick kept me reading when I should’ve been sleeping. Another reviewer pointed out that this letter over which there’s all this brouhaha, we don’t even get to read in its entirety.

This book would’ve been improved if all that business about the Berlin Wall had been scrapped.  I didn’t need a boring history lesson that had little to do with the book. I get it: If a kid has a hobby, like collecting rocks, mention a few interesting factoids to “make it real,” but don’t include a lengthy geology lesson.  

Now I’m going to say something about women authors, many of whom are guilty of this:  They portray a fat woman (never a fat man) as never being able to attract a man; even the heavy ones (authors) do this.  Truth: A lot of fatties have sexual relationships and even get married (and not even always to other fatties).

On Rachel:  She was a total jerk to her daughter-in-law (who seemed like a decent person); rather, Rachel lavished all her love on her grandson but didn’t bother trying to love his mother; all the love she gave her grandson, she withheld from her son.  She wasn’t just a mom who made mistakes; she was a bad mother.

When we go back to Janie’s (Rachel’s daughter’s) time in 1984, and she mentions she wishes she could text or email, it’s so false, as there was no way this teenage girl was thinking about how she wished she could do something that didn’t exist yet, unless her character was the type to dream stuff like this up.

On Cecelia:  Extremely self-absorbed.  Her husband’s (John-Paul’s) self-flagellation was obnoxious.  I could not bear either one of them. She was a terrible person, too.

On Tess:  The least interesting of the three protagonists but the least whacked.  

The premise of her story didn’t seem real but rather, a random plot device thrown in, and her revelation about something she’s been suffering but never had a name for wasn’t that earth-quaking.  

I do think her description of her relationship with her “best friend”–with whom she snickered at the other players of life on the sidelines–was a great one, but it went beyond that:  Even if I didn’t feel my friend was a threat (in this case, because she was fat), I still wouldn’t want another woman living in my home with me and my husband.

That’s just weird.  Wouldn’t you want privacy?

I didn’t like Tess’s husband (what a ninny!), but she should have told him what transpired after she left; he started it but did she ever finish it.  Talk about taking advantage of a bad situation!

My biggest beef was that the storyline with Tess and Connor just didn’t tie in that strongly with the other ones.  (I think Moriarty was just trying to follow the “rule of three.”) It was also the weakest and the least interesting of the three stories.

I found it hard to swallow that when Rachel finds out who the murderer is, she was okay with letting him/her go–even though she JUST tried offing the wrong person?!  I guess she felt she’d already gotten her vengeance sans the justice.

This book lacked all the charm and humor of Big Little Lies (I’m already sucked into the TV-series) and characters I could care about.  There may have been a few stereotypes in Lies, but at least they were grounded in reality.  The only characters I liked in this book were the minor ones, but maybe I just didn’t get to know them well enough (except for Connor, who was just an all-around nice guy).  

I thought the epilogue was interesting, though I do wish the truth about Janie had been revealed to the characters and not just the readers.  The alternate histories were rather fun–made me think a little bit about all that can happen when you zig rather than zag–even though I’m not sure they were necessary.

Though Secret was an interesting read, I prefer Moriarty’s light touch to her maudlin one.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For I was told that I had loved the man who had given me life,
even as I loathed the woman who had helped him do it.
Catholicism had saved me in my unborn state,
& for that, I would be indebted to it forever.

My earliest memories
had been recorded on a machine
that was still rapidly developing,
so that they were subject
to tampering,
to being recorded over—
like a double exposure.

I trusted David with my heart & life & body
as surely as I trusted God,
whoever He was,
with my soul.

When I’d thought my father dead,
I’d hated him;
when I found him alive,
I loved him,
if for no other reason
than that I had been told I had,
indeed,
once loved him.

I’d visited an empty grave,
when I could’ve been visiting a living person.
Rather than stroll through the valley of the shadow
of another’s death,
I could’ve been living in the light
that was my life.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

He said there were no more secrets between us, & I believed him, as I always had, already knowing if there were, I’d believe him yet again.

Now I understood why David had stayed away all those Sundays—he hadn’t wanted to participate in the farce of visiting Patrick’s grave.

I was grieving for my mother—the mother who was a stranger to me now—not for the father who had been dead to me all these years.

My mother had told my father that Caitlin wasn’t his, & so he’d tried to kill himself, even though he still had me, for it wasn’t the loss of a baby’s paternity but the loss of Mother’s love.

We sat there, at an impasse, & in that moment of silence, we were acknowledging this was now the way it would always be between us.

“She had told me when I was carrying you that my firstborn daughter would steal away my first love & become my enemy,” Mother said.

I wondered if Madame Novacek’s eyes had looked into Mother’s, &, rather than see in her crystal ball, saw in them, what this woman, my mother, would become.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

My father’s epitaph had been a lie,
engraved into a stone tablet—
just like the 10 Commandments.
Both had been used to control beliefs.

David’s wealth was prolonging my father’s life,
even as he was enjoying my father’s wife.

Like Mary Magdalene,
I’d been visiting the empty grave of
the man my mother had practically deified—
the man whose blood would redeem me
from psychological incest.

For the sake of her soul,
she would not divorce,
but she would kill.
For the sake of Patrick’s soul.
she had preserved the body by
keeping him hooked to machines—
a mechanical embalming.

Mother Mary had been Mother’s idol,
but now she saw herself as a martyr—
a saint but not of the Catholic kind.