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Sunday, November 7, 2021


This is Liane Moriarty at her very best – a family story with cleverly crafted characters and a plot that grips the reader from the get-go. (Review by Fiona de Goede)

Let’s meet the Delaney family: Joy, an active, vivacious woman who for many years successfully managed and ran the family business, Delaney’s Tennis Academy, with her husband Stan. Their love of tennis is what brought them together – and kept them together. They are the undisputed doubles champions of their local tennis club and the envy of all their tennis-playing friends. But now they have retired, sold the school and don’t quite know how to fill their days. This is supposed to be the time where they reconnect, embrace new hobbies, travel, look forward to grandchildren etc.

All four of the Delaney kids were excellent tennis players as youngsters – they take after Stan physically, all four of them being over six feet tall and dark haired, as opposed to Joy, who is blonde and petite.

The four siblings, two boys and two girls, all have issues of their own.

Troy is a successful businessman with all the trappings of wealth – a flashy car, an apartment with breathtaking views of Sydney harbour and his regular sessions to the salon for pedicures and other expensive treatments. If only he could impress his father, Stan.

Logan is a more unrefined, slightly rough around the edges version of his brother. As youngsters, he and Troy got into scuffles that would invariably result in bodily harm – to one another!  Logan lectures at a local community college but his heart is not really in it.

Amy is the sister with probably the most complex personality of the four. She drifts from job to job, from one unsuitable, disastrous relationship to another and despite ongoing therapy and counselling, seemingly cannot resolve her issues.

Brooke (with an e) suffers from debilitating migraines. She wants to please her parents, her husband and her clients – she has just started her own physiotherapy practice. Her marriage is virtually on the rocks, her business is floundering and she knows her mother is waiting to hear whether she will be a grandmother soon.

And then Joy Delaney goes missing – she sends a garbled message to each of her children and disappears off the face of the earth. That, together with a scratch on his face that Stan is reluctant to talk about and the appearance of a stranger in their home recently, is enough to get the attention of the police.

The plot moves at a good pace, the characters are cleverly fleshed out and the dialogue, as is always the case with Liane Moriarty, is spot-on and true to life.

This is Liane Moriarty at her very best – a family story with cleverly crafted characters and a plot that grips the reader from the get-go.

As I am an ardent Moriarty fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this book – I preferred it to her previous offering, Nine Perfect Strangers. To the Moriarty newbies out there, also give The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Husband’s Secret, Truly Madly Guilty and of course, Big Little Lies a go. The latter was turned into a mini series featuring Nicole Kidman and Reece Witherspoon. -  Fiona de Goede.

Apples Never Fall is published by PenguinRandomHouse.  ISBN 978-0-241-39609-4