Book Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty fans were very excited by the release of Apples Never Fall. But was it worth the hype?

Blurb

The Delaney family love one another dearlyit’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.

Apples Never Fall Book Cover

Review

Some Liane Moriarty stories I loved, some I just liked. I also saw mixed reviews for Apples Never Fall. So, I went into this book with an open mind and medium expectations. While I was initially put off by the length of the book, it surprised me by becoming one I was eager to pick up.

Based on the blurb, I was expecting Apples Never Fall to be a domestic thriller. There was elements of that genre, of course, but I also saw it as a dark comedy. Some of the character’s lines made me laugh, even in not-so-funny moments, and the characters themselves were craftfully boarding on individual yet fitting a certain stereotype. Despite this being a book about Joy going missing, she bought the most comic element to the story. I think the infusion of comedy by the author was a genius move, one which makes Apples Never Fall stand out.

Despite this being a relatively long book, the action doesn’t really happen until the last third of the story. This would usually irk me but I loved the character development the other two thirds brought. I appreciated the way that it left hints but also didn’t spoil the ending.

Overall, I really enjoyed Apples Never Fall, despite earlier reservations.

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