Book Review | Apples Never Fall

Took a little time off to enjoy reading some books and this is one of the books that I got to sit down with.

Apples Never Fall
Liane Moriarty

The Delaney family love one another dearly—it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.

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There is something about family drama that always makes for compelling reading and this book was full of family drama. I have to say that that is something that Liane Moriarty does really well, creates stories with family dynamics that really draw you in and keep you invested. This particular story I felt was going to be the kind of book that would keep me hooked because of the elements that I read in the description, a stranger in the mix, family secrets, a family member missing, it didn’t quite hit in the way that I thought it would but it was still the kind of book that I had to get to the end of to find out what happened.

I really did enjoy getting to know the Delaney’s and getting to piece together the puzzle of how they ended up in this particular situation, especially as things escalate in the police investigation and the siblings start to feel like they need to pick sides, that led to a lot of good tension between characters. The siblings were all so different and all seemed to be hiding something, I liked that they were all very flawed but also well-rounded. Savannah was an interesting addition to the mix, highlighting how the siblings could be doing better with their parents and also putting a cat amongst the pigeons as they try to figure out her motives for being around.

I did feel that there was definitely a lack of suspense throughout the first part of the story which was a shame, there wasn’t quite the same pull that I had expected, and I felt there were parts I could have skimmed. As the book is nearing the end I definitely felt that thriller vibe that I’ve had from the authors book before and it meant that I was totally invested in the ending of the story, but I think because I had expected that from the get-go I was a little disappointed.

I did like how everything fit together though, I wouldn’t have predicted what would have happened and it was good to see at the end how a lot of the more insignificant details that are peppered throughout the book actually become relevant to the outcome of the story. It was put together cleverly and had me reflecting over the story once I had gotten to the end, I also liked the misdirection that was making me anticipate what secrets that the Delaneys were keeping and getting them wrong every time.

Whilst I wouldn’t say this is as captivating as the previous Liane Moriarty book that I have read, it is still one that I appreciated and I am definitely looking forward to what comes next.

Reviews of other books by Liane Moriarty
Big Little Lies

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