Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

 

Title: Apples Never Fall

Author : Liane Moriarty

Published: 14th September 2021, Macmillan

Status: Read September 2021 courtesy Pan Macmillan Australia

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My Thoughts:

Unfolding from multiple viewpoints, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty is an engrossing, intimate domestic drama.

Sixty-nine year old Joy Delaney hasn’t been seen or heard from for a week before her four adult children, Amy, Troy, Logan and Brooke, notice. Their father, Stan, has no good explanation for her absence, or the scratches on his face, and the siblings, aware things have been tense between their parents for some time, struggle to defend him when the police suspect he has murdered her.

As the timeline moves between the present and the past, Moriarty unravels the complex dynamics of the Delaney’s, it’s disruption by a mysterious interloper, and the puzzle of Joy’s absence.

Though the intrigue regarding Joy’s disappearance is central to the story, Apples Never Fall is a very much a character driven novel. I always appreciate how authentic and grounded Moriarty’s characters are, each with distinct and nuanced personalities. I found Joy’s frustrations, worries and hopes to be relatable, while Stan is more of a traditional patriarch. Their children, despite a rather extraordinary childhood, are fairly ordinary adults, with an interesting mix of strengths and flaws, accomplishments and regrets.

As with most family’s, the Delaney’s relationships are a mix of love and rivalry, secrets and lies, resentments and guilt. I really liked the way in which Moriarty shows how each member has differing perspectives on the same incidents, and how that plays into how they define themselves, and each other. It’s with keen insight that Moriarty also explores a wide range of issues from empty-nest syndrome and domestic violence, to the pressures of elite sport, and the weight of family expectations.

This is not a fast paced story, but there are plenty of surprises in Apples Never Fall. I’ve read more than a few complaints about the ending(s) of the novel (especially with its reference to the pandemic) but I thought there was a subtle and clever implication in it.

Offering compelling characters, authentic emotion, and sharp wit, I found Apples Never Fall to be an entertaining, incisive and absorbing novel.

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Available from Macmillan Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Oct 07, 2021 @ 12:57:30

    Okay think you have convinced me. Must say loving your book cover art work that you are most likely doing for IG. It’s fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Theresa Smith Writes
    Oct 07, 2021 @ 21:42:05

    Thanks for a great review on this one Shelleyrae.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Nish
    Oct 07, 2021 @ 23:45:02

    I find Moriarty very readable. I don’t mind even her bad books – she writes such excellent characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Helen Murdoch
    Oct 08, 2021 @ 07:23:34

    I have enjoyed a couple of Moriarty’s books and this one sounds good too. Thank you for the good review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Diane
    Oct 08, 2021 @ 22:55:14

    I do want to read this one even if the reviews seem mixed. I love the cover on your copy as well. Hope you have been doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Trin Carl
    Oct 11, 2021 @ 03:20:13

    I’d love to meet the author Liane. I have read every single one of her books which I can’t say for a lot of authors. The earlier novel turned film increased even more interest.

    Like

    Reply

  7. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Watching? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  8. Laurel-Rain Snow
    Oct 12, 2021 @ 00:21:15

    Great review! I loved this one, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Trackback: Crime Fiction Round-Up: September-October 2021 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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