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Reviewed in Australia on 25 September 2021
Moriarty returns to her domestic drama heartland in her latest release, Apples Never Fall.
The dual timeline narrative follows the members of the Delaney family in suburban Sydney. Recently retired parents Joy and Stan remain highly competitive tennis players after selling their successful coaching academy. Their four adult children - Amy, Logan, Troy and Brooke - were also each successful junior players, none of whom managed to break into the professional circuit, and each face challenges in their personal and/or professional lives. The Delaney's comfortable, if imperfect, lives are impacted by the sudden arrival of Savannah, a young woman who knocks on Joy and Stan's front door one night, seeking assistance after experiencing domestic violence. The Delaney parents take her into their lives, offering her a temporary home, despite the misgivings of their four children.
Some months later, Joy Delaney goes missing during a bike ride to the nearby shops. When she makes no contact, police begin to suspect foul play, and their investigation focusses on patriarch Stan. The situation places inevitable pressures on the remaining members of the family and their interrelationships.
I found Apples Never Fall an engrossing domestic drama, with a healthy dose of intrigue and second-guessing of each of the characters' motivations and secrets. While not always particularly likeable, I found each of the central characters well-developed and identified with the concept that different members of the same family often have different recollections of the same events and that the scars borne in childhood often run deep.
The conclusion was well-crafted and satisfying, but like other readers I felt that the novel could perhaps have ended more successfully at the end of chapter 70. While intriguing, the rather macabre final twist felt superfluous and jarring.
I'd encourage readers who enjoyed Moriarty's early work - such as The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies - to give this one a try. To my mind it's a return to form after her more experimental 2018 release Nine Perfect Strangers. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing read from the Aussie queen of domestic drama
Reviewed in Australia on 25 September 2021
Moriarty returns to her domestic drama heartland in her latest release, Apples Never Fall.
The dual timeline narrative follows the members of the Delaney family in suburban Sydney. Recently retired parents Joy and Stan remain highly competitive tennis players after selling their successful coaching academy. Their four adult children - Amy, Logan, Troy and Brooke - were also each successful junior players, none of whom managed to break into the professional circuit, and each face challenges in their personal and/or professional lives. The Delaney's comfortable, if imperfect, lives are impacted by the sudden arrival of Savannah, a young woman who knocks on Joy and Stan's front door one night, seeking assistance after experiencing domestic violence. The Delaney parents take her into their lives, offering her a temporary home, despite the misgivings of their four children.
Some months later, Joy Delaney goes missing during a bike ride to the nearby shops. When she makes no contact, police begin to suspect foul play, and their investigation focusses on patriarch Stan. The situation places inevitable pressures on the remaining members of the family and their interrelationships.
I found Apples Never Fall an engrossing domestic drama, with a healthy dose of intrigue and second-guessing of each of the characters' motivations and secrets. While not always particularly likeable, I found each of the central characters well-developed and identified with the concept that different members of the same family often have different recollections of the same events and that the scars borne in childhood often run deep.
The conclusion was well-crafted and satisfying, but like other readers I felt that the novel could perhaps have ended more successfully at the end of chapter 70. While intriguing, the rather macabre final twist felt superfluous and jarring.
I'd encourage readers who enjoyed Moriarty's early work - such as The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies - to give this one a try. To my mind it's a return to form after her more experimental 2018 release Nine Perfect Strangers. Highly recommended.
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