‘Apples Never Fall’ is the latest book by Liane Moriarty.
The Delaney family love one another dearly – it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other. Joy Delaney and husband Stan have done well. Four wonderful grown-up children. A family business to envy. The golden years of retirement ahead of them. So when Joy Delaney vanishes – no note, no calls, her bike missing – it’s natural that tongues will wag. How did Stan scratch his face? And who was the stranger who entered and suddenly left their lives? What are they all hiding? But for the Delaney children there is a much more terrifying question: did they ever know their parents at all?
I actually read this book back at Christmas and it was another great thrilling story from one of Australia’s greatest authors and in true, Liane’s style, the story starts right at the pivotal moment of major change in the Delaney family’s lives.
The story is written in and past present tense and is seen through the narrative of Joy Delaney and her children, Brooke, Amy, Troy and Logan and how their lives dramatically changed when a stranger called Savannah appears in their parents lives and fits seamlessly and replaces them. One day, both Joy and Savannah disappear and Savannah’s husband Stan is seen as the main culprit in her disappearance despite his protests.
I loved this story, the multiple narratives and dual tenses made for gripping reading. I found Savannah to be a fascinating character, she appears in Joy’s and Stan’s lives one evening in complete distress and they take her in knowing nothing about her. Joy treats her Savannah like the daughter she never had as her relationship with her own daughters is quite strained at times, as they were brought up in a competitive family and this upsets both Brooke and Amy and are immediately suspicious of Savannah.
The Delaney family are a complex group of people. Both Joy and Stan are tennis instructors and their children were brought up to be tennis champions but sadly that wasn’t the case and that’s left a sour taste in Stan’s mouth and this causes friction in the family. They try to live up to their father’s high standards but are constantly letting him down. Stan is a petulant man with a temper and is prone to leaving when the going gets tough. All the children, now grown ups have their own issues in their lives, separation, mental health as well as fertility and their troubles make for relatable reading.
Joy is at a standstill in her life, she has spent her years coaching and bringing her children up and now Savannah has come into her live and exudes excitement and mystery, but she also shows an interest in Joy, something that she’s been missing for years.
The present tense are seen through the narrative of the police investigating Joy’s disappearance, her friends and children as they all wonder about the mysterious Savannah and what caused Joy to disappear.
‘Apples Never Fall’ is another rollercoaster of a suspenseful domestic noir from Liane, packed with drama and intrigue from the first mysterious text from Joy to her children to the final scene that hooked my attention throughout. Cleverly and wittily written, ‘Apples Never Fall’ is an observational story about family dynamics and mishaps, that was a complete guessing game!
You can buy ‘Apples Never Fall’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.