Review: Apples Never Fall – Liane Moriarty

Joy Delaney has gone missing. The last anyone heard from her was a garbled text to her four grown up children saying she was going ‘off-grid’ and then a lot of random words that didn’t make any sense.

I’ve read a few of Moriarty’s books now; Three Wishes, Nine Perfect Strangers (which was recently made into a TV show). You may also be familiar Big Little Lies which was also a TV show. I often describe Moriarty’s books as slow-burners, she spends a lot of time setting the scene and often includes chapters from the point of view of characters not directly related to the story; the waitress in the café where Joy’s four children discuss their mother’s disappearance. This, not-quite, bird’s eye view provides an outsider’s perspective on a story that is otherwise told by a different main character in each chapter.

The title comes from the old adage ‘the apple never falls far from the tree’ implying that children are much like their parents in personality and characteristics and I don’t really see this being true of Joy Delaney’s family, I don’t see too many similarities between Joy and any of her children or their father and the children, but there is a lot of emphasis on the relationships between each character and their parents and how that shaped them as adults. Even Joy’s husband’s story with a father who lashed out in anger and hit his mum before leaving the family. Savannah, the Delaney’s house guest at the time of Joy’s disappearance is also depicted as having grown up into the woman she is, flaws and all, because of her relationship with both of her parents.

About half-way through the book I’d say it got really good. Finally there was the ‘must keep reading’ point where I was desperate to know what happened next. Moriarty had been cleverly leaving trails throughout the whole first half which were very subtle clues to the whereabouts of the missing woman and as I continued to read and piece together the puzzle I finally sighed a heavy sigh as I realised what had happened to Joy. And I was still wrong.

Apples Never Fall isn’t an immediate page turner, but it gets there. It’s an exploration of relationships, parental, siblings, love and how they impact and affect our lives and who we are as people. I definitely enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars on Goodreads (Gem, if you’re interested). I have fairly high standards for a 5-star… Apples Never Fall is an easy read, with nice twists and well-rounded and likeable characters.

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