Apples never fall A novel

Liane Moriarty

Book - 2021

"A novel that looks at marriage, sibling rivalry, and the lies we tell others and ourselves"--

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FICTION/Moriarty, Liane
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Domestic fiction
New York : Henry Holt and Company 2021.
Main Author
Liane Moriarty (author)
First U.S. edition
Physical Description
467 pages ; 25 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

The Delaneys are a nice family. Stan and Joy sold their tennis school and retired, and they have good relationships with their adult children, Amy, Troy, Logan, and Brooke. But one Valentine's Day, Joy goes missing. The narrative flashes between the investigation into her disappearance and the previous September, when Savannah, a young victim of domestic abuse, shows up on the Delaneys' doorstep. Though Savannah cooks and cleans, the Delaney children are suspicious of how comfortable she is in their parents' home. Meanwhile, as evidence mounts against Stan, cracks in their lives start to show. Logan was dumped, and Brooke is separated and divorced. Troy is facing a dilemma with his ex-wife. Throughout the novel, there is tennis. Stan was a patient coach but less so with his own gifted children. Joy felt unappreciated as both a tennis player and as the glue that held the family together. Moriarty is at her best in the suburbs, and here the alternating points of view give a full picture and a gentle skewering of the pain points of suburban living. As the two time lines converge, and a happy ending is reached, no clue is left abandoned, not even in the chilling final chapter.HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moriarty is a perennial bestseller, and her previous books have received prestigious TV adaptations, so expect lots of well-deserved interest.

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

Set in Sydney, Australia, this engrossing psychological thriller from bestseller Moriarty (Nine Perfect Strangers) centers on Joy and Stan Delaney, who have been married for 50 years and are discontented in their retirement. Joy often fantasizes about their four grown children giving them grandchildren to help them out of their rut. One night, a young woman appears at the Delaneys' door. Introducing herself as Savannah, she claims she's a victim of domestic abuse and has the injuries to show for it. The couple welcome Savannah into their home, where she soon becomes a permanent guest. Eventually, the Delaney children notice oddities in Savannah's behavior and suggest it may be time for her to leave. Tension builds between Joy and Stan, and suddenly she vanishes. The police and two of the Delaney children believe Stan is responsible for her disappearance as he won't talk about it. Moriarty expertly delves into the innermost thoughts of each of the children, exposing secrets unbeknownst to each other; artfully balances the present-day plot with revealing backstory; and offers several different possibilities for what happened to Joy. Only the overlong conclusion disappoints. Moriarty's superb storytelling continues to shine. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Set in Sydney, Australia, Moriarty's (Nine Perfect Strangers) latest novel traces the mysterious vanishing of 69-year-old Joy Delaney. Joy and her husband Stan have a loving marriage, a well-deserved retirement, and four remarkable children, but Joy's disappearance uncovers a stash of secrets and betrayals under the family's shiny veneer. Over the course of a nonlinear timeline that creates an increasingly unsettling picture, the Delaneys' backstories and secrets are revealed: failed relationships; the family's fierce competitiveness; and most intriguing of all, a stranger named Savannah, whose relationship with the Delaneys is not as innocent as it first seems. Narrator Caroline Lee brings her full talents to bear here; with careful characterizations and responsive pacing, she indicates the smallest but most telling emotions and nuances. Listeners will feel the novel's unspoken emotional undercurrents of heartbreaking need, barely restrained fury, and miserable insecurity. VERDICT Moriarty's engrossing novel is made all the more compelling by Lee's skillful narration. Highly recommended for all collections.--Sarah Hashimoto, Jackson Dist. Lib., MI

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Australian novelist Moriarty combines domestic realism and noirish mystery in this story about the events surrounding a 69-year-old Sydney woman's disappearance. Joy and Stan Delaney met as champion tennis players more than 50 years ago and ran a well-regarded tennis academy until their recent retirement. Their long, complicated marriage has been filled with perhaps as much passion for the game of tennis as for each other or their children. When Joy disappears on Feb. 14, 2020 (note the date), the last text she sends to her now-grown kids--bohemian Amy, passive Logan, flashy Troy, and migraine-suffering Brooke--is too garbled by autocorrect to decipher and stubborn Stan refuses to accept that there might be a problem. But days pass and Joy remains missing and uncharacteristically silent. As worrisome details come to light, the police become involved. The structure follows the pattern of Big Little Lies (2014) by setting up a mystery and then jumping months into the past to unravel it. Here, Moriarty returns to the day a stranger named Savannah turned up bleeding on the Delaneys' doorstep and Joy welcomed her to stay for an extended visit. Who is Savannah? Whether she's innocent, scamming, or something else remains unclear on many levels. Moriarty is a master of ambiguity and also of the small, telling detail like a tossed tennis racket or the repeated appearance of apple crumble. Starting with the abandoned bike that's found by a passing motorist on the first page, the evidence that accumulates around what happened to Joy constantly challenges the reader both to notice which minor details (and characters) matter and to distinguish between red herrings and buried clues. The ultimate reveal is satisfying, if troubling. But Moriarty's main focus, which she approaches from countless familiar and unexpected angles, is the mystery of family and what it means to be a parent, child, or sibling in the Delaney family--or in any family, for that matter. Funny, sad, astute, occasionally creepy, and slyly irresistible. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.