‘The Last Anniversary’ is by Liane Moriarty.
Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own. Since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island’s annual celebration. But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?
Liane Moriarty has become one of my favourite authors over the last couple of years. So when, I received a copy of ‘The Last Anniversary’ I was eager to get stuck in but upon finishing it, I was disappointed to see that it lacked her usual hook that pulled the reader in, instead I found the book travelled at a slower pace and dragged along.
The story is a strange one and has the potential to a gripping tale with the strange island with few habitats and the mystery of the disappearing couple who left their baby behind, but the book failed to delivered.
Seen from the perspective of the women of island after the death of Connie, a strong and well respected woman. Over seventy years ago, herself and sister, Rose discovered an abandoned baby who they called Enigma. The little baby attracted a lot of attention and became the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ bringing tourists and trade to the small island, to hear the tale of Enigma and to visit the house she was left behind in.
After Connie passed away, she left her house to Sophie, an outsider who broke her nephews heart much to the disgust of other family members who think they deserve the house more. The story follows on through the eyes of Sophie, Rose and Grace, Connie’s niece on the lead up the annual anniversary of the Munro Baby Mystery, which is day and night of festivities where Enigma becomes the centre of attention and recall her memories of that farewell day.
I think one of the reasons I didn’t particularly enjoy this book was the characters, the majority of them I disliked. Sophie played quite a big part in the book, having been left the house with an opportunity to start her life over but she is obsessed with love and not becoming an old spinster and it seems that she will stop at nothing. But it’s when her attentions begin to focus on a married man, I began to dislike more. Although she battled with her emotions, it was very evident her attractions for Callum. Callum’s wife, Grace was the only character that I liked in this book and that was because I felt sympathy and a sense of protection towards her as she battled with self worth and post natal depression. And finally there is Enigma, the principal character of the story, having lived a life of being the centre of attention, she sees herself as a celebrity who everyone wants a piece off and unfortunately, I just found her annoying and self absorbed.
Although the book was written in the authors sharp concise style and had an interesting twist at the end. I felt the story lacked pace and Liane’s usual page turning intensity. Regrettably, ‘The Last Anniversary’ was not as enjoyable as her other two books, but as Meatloaf says “two out of three ain’t bad”.
You can buy The Last Anniversary from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.