The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Four friends. Five Letters. One Secret.
The scandalous breakthrough novel from Nicola Moriarty that will leave you asking, how well do I really know my friends?
Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden.
Best friends since the first day of school. Best friends, they liked to say, forever.
But now they are in their thirties and real life - husbands, children, work - has got in the way. So, resurrecting their annual trip away, Joni has an idea, something to help them reconnect.
Each woman will write an anonymous letter, sharing with their friends the things that are really going on in their lives.
But as the confessions come tumbling out, Joni starts to feel the certainty of their decades-long friendships slip from her fingers.
Anger. Accusations. Desires. Deceit.
And then she finds another letter. One that was never supposed to be read. A fifth letter. Containing a secret so big that its writer had tried to destroy it. And now Joni is starting to wonder, did she ever really know her friends at all?
After reading the blurb of this one I really thought this would be up my street, I haven't read a women's contemporary for a while and really wanted to get back into it. I choose to begin this today, I had a long trip at the hairdressers planned and wanted something good to read. Wow is all I can say, when I left I only had about 70 pages left to read. This was certainly one quick read and one that hooked me in from the start. The writing style is so easy to get into and you won't believe how much you have read in a short period of time, you just get swept along with all the drama in the story to notice.
Set in Australia we follow four friends, Joni, Trina, Deb and Eden. They have been friends since high school and every year since they were 21 they have taken an annual holiday. As the years have gone on, this has not always been easy for them to commit to a date with families and life getting in the way.
We are taken through the story through different points of view and discover their past and their relationships. I really loved that the story was broken up with the confession to the priest, this made it really enjoyable for me as I don't think I have ever read a story like this before. It made it different and interesting.
This year something about their annual holiday is different, yes Joni seemed to mess up when booking their holiday home but they have decided they have grown apart over the years and perhaps its time to rekindle their letter love. (They used to write notes to each other when they were at school.) After a few glasses of wine they all decide this is a good idea. However the night they are writing their letters one woman writes an extra letter, determine to destroy the original and put this in its place. What she doesn't do though is destroy the fifth letter immediately.
This book is full of twists and turns, to be honest I thought I had guessed who had written it half way though and it wasn't until I was about 30 pages from the end that I realised that I had been wrong. I did however guess a few of the smaller 'secrets' to spill.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend this to others, I would also be keen to read other novels by this author. Overall I give this book 4.5* (rounded up to 5 for Goodreads and Amazon.) The only reason this is not a 5* book is down to the fact I had guessed some elements of this. Saying that, it did not affect my enjoyment of the book.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.