Review: The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty

The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty

The Fifth Letter is an intense women’s lit read that would be perfect for book clubs. Four long-time friends go on holiday and decide to write anonymous letters disclosing their deepest secrets. Some secrets are more serious than others, but someone also writes a fifth letter revealing her true feelings about another member of the group. And those feelings are not happy feelings.

This book is narrated by Joni, the planner of the group. She’s the one who finds the fifth letter, so you know right away it’s not hers. Throughout the book Joni is trying to puzzle together who wrote it by talking to a priest, confession style, and sharing flash backs and present day plot. I loved the priest angle. He kind of acting as a shrink.

These four Australian women, Joni, Deb, Edina, and Trina, have been friends since high school (really middle school in the US). They’ve been through a lot together, but they’re also growing apart. They all have husbands now, and Deb, Edina, and Trina also have kids. A lot of what they’ve experienced is natural due to the time they’ve known each other, but other things are unique to their situations. Joni feels like her friends put a lot of the planning on her because she doesn’t have kids.

This book was thoroughly entertaining to listen to, and it kept me guessing the whole time, but it’s not one I would say you have to read. It would have been fun to read with others in a book club though. It could bring friends closer if you used it as an avenue to reveal some of your own secrets. Or it could just be fun to talk about some of the ridiculous things that take place in the book.

Rating: 3 Stars

The Fifth Letter
Nicola Moriarty
Fiction
William Morrow
January 24, 2017
Audio
288

Four friends . . .

Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority—at least for three of the women—how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together?

Four secrets . . .

During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendship they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis?

Five letters . . .

Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter—a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do?

Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences. One will heal a long festering wound. Another will find strength in her newfound independence. A third will confront her uncertain future. The fourth will finally admit her true feelings . . . and things will never be the same.

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