Could you keep a secret to your death?
Researchers have found that most of us share a secret within 47 hours and 15 minutes.
Neurologists say keeping secrets is unhealthy for your brain.
Some of the world's most famous secrets have been revealed in deathbed confessions.
An article about real-life deathbed confessions helped inspire Sydney author Liane Moriarty's new novel, The Husband's Secret.
Cecilia Fitzpatrick, Sydney wife, mother and P&C President, discovers her husband has a secret so dark it could destroy her blissfully ordinary suburban existence.
We all have secrets. But not like this…
The Husband's Secret is a stunning, complex novel guaranteed to cause debate and controversy. This book will have everyone asking, "What would I do?"
WOULD YOU OPEN IT?
The Loch Ness Monster, a stolen lullaby and a foolish murderer were the inspiration for my latest novel, The Husband's Secret.
Two years ago I stumbled upon a fascinating article about real life deathbed confessions. I learned about Christian Spurling, who confessed on his deathbed to faking a notorious photo of the Loch Ness Monster.
There was a famous songwriter who was dying of cancer and wrote a letter admitting, after years of adamant denials, that she had plagiarized a lullaby melody. Then there was the hapless man who, after suffering a stroke, confessed he'd killed his neighbour thirty years earlier. The only problem was that he didn't end up dying. After he was released from hospital he went straight to jail.
The article, particularly the story of the man who didn't die, got me thinking. I was intrigued by that overwhelming desire to share your darkest secret.
That's when I came up with the story of a woman who finds a letter from her husband. It says: For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick. To be opened only in the event of my death. Her husband is very much alive. Should she open it? As I was writing the novel, I kept putting the premise to my female friends and asking, "Would you open it?" I loved watching their faces as they struggled with the ethical dilemma. Their answers were varied but they all agreed they would certainly want to open it.
Of course, the character in my novel does eventually open the letter. The extraordinary secret she discovers turns her ordinary little suburban world upside down.
Although The Husband's Secret is very much character-driven, it's probably the most suspenseful of all my novels. Many of my early readers have described it as 'impossible to put down.' My fingers are very tightly crossed that you will agree with them.
With warmest wishes,
Liane Moriarty is the author of Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot and The Hypnotist's Love Story. All of her novels have been published successfully around the world and translated into seven languages. Writing as L.M. Moriarty, she is also the author of the Space brigade series for children. Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.
The Husband's Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Question: What did you enjoy most about creating the suspense in The Husband's Secret?
Liane Moriarty: It was a little bit new for me to write a book with such a strong suspense element and I did enjoy drawing out the secret and finding the pace for when she reveals the secret, at the right time, so the reader doesn't become frustrated.
Question: Can you tell us how you went about creating the character of Cecilia Fitzpatrick?
Liane Moriarty: Cecilia Fitzpatrick is a women who is very different from me but someone who I really admire because she is always the person her puts her hand up first to volunteer, somebody who is super organised and a women who has her life under control. I am a mother and I know what is involved with being a school-mum and also juggling work which is why I am so admiring of these women who not only have their career and children but also volunteer for all sorts of extra things whilst making it look effortless. I enjoyed coming up with a character that was so different from me.
I really enjoyed writing my three characters; I especially enjoyed the difference between them. It was nice for me to go back and forth and keep in turn with each character.
Question: How does it feel when readers say that your books are "impossible to put down"?
Liane Moriarty: It is wonderful to hear that, it's exactly what you want to hear because they're the sort of books that I like to read. To imagine someone having an experience like that with a book that I have written is sublime and makes it all worthwhile.
Question: Tell me, if you were Cecilia, would you open it?
Liane Moriarty: Absolutely I would open it, no doubt about it! When I originally told my husband about the idea he said "I know you would open it, that's why I would never write something like that". I'd open it without a second thought as I'd be desperate to know.
Question: Are you working on another novel?
Liane Moriarty: I am in the very, very early stages. I did really enjoy crossing over genres and I think I have more blood in me, perhaps in this book than I've had in others, however I'm still thinking about school politics and still really interested in that which is why it will probably be set in a Primary School.