Holiday reads: Great reviews for chick-lit fans

By admin
08 October 2013

Our book blogger’s search for enjoyable chick-lit ended with two Aussie-related ones, a new read, The Husband’s Secret, and older one from British author Jojo Moyes.

Natalie Cavernelis’ search for enjoyable chick-lit ended with two Aussie-related ones, a new read, The Husband’s Secret, and older one from British author Jojo Moyes.

The Husband’s Secret

Author: Liane Moriarty

Rating: three out five

Price: R142,50

It’s always enjoyable to read authors from other countries other than the usual places (America and Britain) and I do like a good chick-lit book from time to time so it was these two factors that led me to The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. The author is Australian and has set her book in Sydney plus it sounds so intriguing: a woman looking for something in her attic finds a letter from her devoted husband that’s addressed to her and states, “To be opened only in the event of my death.”

The book is about three women. Cecilia is the perfect wife and mother (and one of Australia’s top Tupperware salespeople) who finds the letter from John-Paul, her husband of 15 years. Marketing executive Tess is taken by surprise when her husband announces he’s in love with her cousin and best friend, Felicity, and returns home to her mother in Sydney. Widow Rachel is still traumatised by the murder of her much-loved teenage daughter more than 20 years ago.

The women are connected by geography more than anything else. Rachel is the secretary at the primary school Cecilia’s three cute daughters attend and where Tess enrols her son when she returns home, and Rachel goes to one of Cecilia’s famous Tupperware parties.

Cecilia takes forever before she decides she has to open the letter. Forever! And each chapter that passes with that closed letter you’re close to screeching at her to open it. But eventually she does after realising things had been a bit off in her marriage, and her world starts falling apart.

The women’s various stories start connecting and it’s captivating. I tried to read it in one sitting. It’s a bit of a murder mystery and really dark for chick-lit though it does get a little too sweet at times. The ending was a bit much but after thinking about it, it was what was needed. It’s the perfect summer read (how cute is the cover?).

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The Ship of Brides

Author: Jojo Moyes

Rating: three out five

Price: R121

I discovered British author Jojo Moyes only last year, reading the wonderful Me Before You (about a woman working as a carer for a quadriplegic man). I immediately followed it up with another of her bestsellers, The Girl You Left Behind (a painting links the stories of Liv in the present day and Sophie in occupied France in 1916).

Her books aren’t too light or silly and the stories are well thought out. So when I wanted another chick-lit  story she was an obvious choice as I still have quite a few of her previous books to work through.

After finishing The Husband’s Secret I opted for The Ship of Brides because of the link to Australia. Four Australian war brides are travelling with hundreds of other women on a warship to meet up with their husbands in Britain after World War 2. Practical nurse Frances, down-to-earth pregnant farm girl Margaret, naïve, young Jean and snobby socialite Avice end up sharing sleeping quarters. They have very different personalities and a few secrets which lead to friendships, clashes and dramatic moments during the six-week journey.

The trip is also heavy with emotion as some fear the dreaded “Not Wanted, Don’t Come” telegraphs that brides had been receiving from men who had changed their minds after returning home.

It wasn’t my favourite and by far the most chick-litty of her work I’ve read so far but still enjoyable. It’s also based on a true story and a part of history I didn’t know about. I ended up getting sucked into the stories of the real brides on these ships after a quick Google search which made me a little fonder of the book.

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Also try

Me Before You (R117)

The Girl You Left Behind (R130)

-Natalie Cavernelis

Follow @NatalieCav on Twitter

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