The last anniversary A novel

Liane Moriarty

Book - 2006

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FICTION/Moriarty, Liane
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1st Floor FICTION/Moriarty, Liane Due Jul 26, 2024
New York : Harper 2006.
Main Author
Liane Moriarty (-)
1st Harper pbk. ed
Item Description
Originally published: Australia, 2005.
Physical Description
388 p. ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Three years after Sophie Honeywell dumped Thomas Gordon right before he planned to propose, Sophie is bequeathed the house of his widowed aunt Connie on tiny Scribbly Island, site of the Munro baby mystery, just off the coast of Sydney. Thomas is the grandson of that baby, named Enigma after she was found in 1932 by sisters Connie and Rose Doughty, who raised her after her parents abruptly disappeared and turned the mystery into a profitable tourist attraction. Sophie, who at 39 hears the ticking of her biological clock getting louder, is delighted with the house, despite some family opposition to her inheriting it, and intrigued by Connie's matchmaking from beyond the grave. Moriarty has created a cast of appealing characters that she deftly juggles through various plot threads, notably Sophie's languishing love life and the mystery itself, previously revealed only to family members when they turned 40, ultimately revealed to all. With its unhappy childhoods, postpartum depression, and planned suicide, this is less frothy than the author's chick-lit debut Three Wishes 0 (2004) but just as brisk and witty. --Michele Leber Copyright 2006 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Moriarty (Three Wishes) presents a stunner several shades darker than typical chick lit, about a family and the outsider who inherits a house on Scribbly Gum, their (fictional) Australian island and a popular tourist destination. Sophie Honeywell hasn't heard from ex-boyfriend Thomas Gordon since she broke his heart three years ago. He's since married and fathered a child, while Sophie remains single, pining for a baby. When Thomas's Aunt Connie leaves her house on Scribbly Gum Island to Sophie, the family is largely nonplussed-but then, they're used to mysteries. The famous 1932 discovery of baby Enigma by Connie and her sister, Rose Doughty, led to the successful "Munro Baby Mystery" tour that kept the sisters afloat for years. Among the large, eccentric family, Sophie starts a new life, befriending Thomas's cousin Grace, who is suffering through postpartum depression; finding a dangerous mutual attraction with Grace's husband, Callum; and dealing with bitter, intense Veronika, Thomas's sister, who covets Connie's house. Moriarty expertly handles a large cast and their relationships, keeping everyone guessing as the true story of baby Enigma-and its role in Sophie's strange inheritance-is slowly revealed. Moriarty's prose turns from funny through poignant to frightening in an artful snap. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Moriarty's second novel follows the Doughty clan as they fight to protect family secrets. The Doughtys became famous more than 70 years ago when Connie and Rose Doughty found a baby on their island home, Scribbly Gum. The baby's parents, Alice and Jack Munro, vanished, leaving few clues to their whereabouts. The circumstances around the abandonment created a national media sensation. Dubbed "The Baby Munro Mystery," the case captivated Australians and turned sleepy Scribbly Gum Island into a tourist destination. Connie and Rose jumped at this chance to make money. They offered tours and concessions based on the Munro's disappearance. Their schemes created a financial windfall for the Doughty family. As the business grew, Connie and Rose managed to keep the younger generations of Doughtys on a tight leash by controlling the purse strings. After setting up this bleak bit of history, Moriarty focuses on the island's current residents. The Doughty grandchildren and great-grandchildren seem to have prospered in their pristine surroundings, but in reality they are a tortured bunch. The family's troubles surface when the matriarch, Connie, dies. Infighting breaks out among the relatives, and the careful fabric that bound the family together for years starts to unravel. The comparatively sane and notably saucy Sophie Honeywell is thrown into this den of nutcases--Sophie had only met the dowager a handful of times, when she was dating one of the Scribbly Gum natives, but apparently Sophie made such an impression that Connie bequeathed to her her home. Eager to toss aside Sydney's stale singles scene for the opportunity to live rent-free on the picturesque island, Sophie joins the fray. Moriarty (Three Wishes, 2004) presents far too many characters (five generations are accounted for), and none of them are likable. The old ladies are cantankerous and the younger folk are addle-brained. Sub-plots involve postpartum depression, gay relationships, mid-life crises and weight-control issues. An overstuffed tale that can't decide if it's a mystery or a romance. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The Last Anniversary Chapter One 'Do you really think we can get away with it?' 'If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be suggesting it, would I?' 'We could go to jail. That's my third worst fear. First funnel-webs, then childbirth, then jail.' 'Neither of us is going to jail, you ninny. One day we'll be sweet little old ladies and we'll probably forget that it didn't happen the way we said it did.' 'I can't imagine us as sweet little old ladies.' 'It does seem unlikely.' Chapter Two 'A marriage is hard work and sometimes it's a bit of a bore. It's like housework. It's never finished. You've just got to grit your teeth and keep working away at it, day after day. Of course, the men don't work as hard at it as we do, but that's men for you, isn't it? They're not much good at housework either. Well, they weren't in my day. Of course, these days they cook, vacuum, change nappies -- the lot! Still don't get equal pay in the workforce, though, do you? You've got a long way to go, you girls. Not doing much about it, though, are you?' 'Yes, OK, Aunt Connie, but the thing is I'm not interested in marriage in general . I'm interested in Alice and Jack's marriage. How would you describe it? Ordinary? Extraordinary? Cast your mind back! Even the tiniest detail would be helpful. Did they love each other, do you think?' 'Love! Pfff! I'll tell you something, something important. Write this down. You ready?' 'Yes, yes, I'm ready.' 'Love is a decision.' 'Love is a decision?' 'That's right. A decision. Not a feeling. That's what you young people don't realise. That's why you're always off divorcing each other. No offence, dear. Now, turn that silly tape-recorder off and I'll make you some cinnamon toast.' 'I'm stuffed full of food, Aunt Connie. Really. Look, I have to say you haven't been at all helpful. See, the Munro Baby Mystery is like a jigsaw puzzle. You're a piece of the puzzle. If I found all the pieces I could actually solve it. Imagine that! After all this time. Wouldn't you like that? Wouldn't that be fascinating ?' 'Oh, Veronika, love, why don't you just get a job? A good steady job in a bank, perhaps.' The Last Anniversary . Copyright © by Liane Moriarty . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.