Title: Apples Never Fall
Author: Liane Moriarty
Published: September 14th 2021
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now that they’ve sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to ‘relax’. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no-one ever says that out loud.
But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?
Sydney based author Liane Moriarty is a household name. With eight published novels under her belt, record breaking sales figures and worldwide publication rights to her books, Liane Moriarty is an Australian success story. Moriarty’s latest novel has been highly anticipated by her huge fan base. Apples Never Fall is a suburban mystery tale that sees Moriarty untangle a set of complex family issues, tensions and heartache with her unique blend of satire and critical observation.
Meet the Delaneys. The matriarch and patriarch of this enviable family are both well regarded tennis coaches. With their family business now off their hands, this couple plan to relax and take things easy. Joy and Stan know their adult children no longer need their help, despite their disappointments in life. The Delaneys are issued with a big shock when Joy goes missing. This kick starts a strong and critical look into the state of Joy’s marriage to her husband Stan. Why did Joy disappear, what stresses was she under and who was the mysterious visitor to the family home last year?
Well known media outlets such as the Washington Post and The Australian have lined up to throw their support behind Moriarty’s work. Apples Never Fall will have many readers across the globe lining up to purchase a copy of this novel by the much-loved author. I will admit to being one of the many legions of fans who secured a copy of this book as soon as it was made available. I went into Apples Never Fall with quite high expectations and although I enjoyed elements of Moriarty’s new release, it isn’t my favourite novel of the author’s collection.
I really did appreciate the premise and initial set up of Apples Never Fall. I had a good feeling about Moriarty’s new release from the opening. I was really excited about the prospect of delving into another promising page turner from Liane Moriarty. I have to be brutally honest and admit that it took a long time for me to click this one and I’m not sure if I truly connected to Apples Never Fall. There were moments of pure entertainment, brilliance and interest, but I did feel I checked out in parts, which seemed unusual for me, especially as I am a fan of Moriarty’s work. Moriarty spends a significant amount of time on background and character analytics. Apples Never Fall is well written and it does contain Moriarty’s trademark blend of wit, humour and domestic relations issues. This time around there is a gentle mystery and possible crime, which added something extra to the tale. I think Moriarty did work hard to tie things up conclusively as this was a rather long and complex family drama.
The main game plan of Apples Never Fall is the sense of drama when it comes to family relations. With a focus on marriage, relationships, siblings, power, status, social issues, personal interests, truth, pressure, dysfunction, expectations, destiny and turmoil, Apples Never Fall is a full-bodied piece. Tennis (unfortunately not my favourite sport) features quite significantly in this novel and some of these parts did go over my head! But Moriarty weaves in a slight mystery thread through the full utilisation of her switching time periods and perspectives format, which I appreciated.
A melting pot of family conflicts, life pressures, personal grievances and general struggles define the latest release from Liane Moriarty. Apples Never Fall is a great pick for contemporary fiction readers.
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty was published on 14th September 2021 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Apples Never Fall, Liane Moriarty, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Pan Macmillan for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Apples Never Fall is book #85 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge