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?
by Sarah McDuling
When Liane Moriarty starts weaving her storytelling magic, none of the normal rules apply. You will find yourself wondering how to define what you’re reading. Is it a compelling family drama? A gripping psychological thriller? A crime novel? A mystery? Domestic noir? All of the above?? (The correct answer is all of the above, plus a whole lot of sparkling humour and astute social commentary.)
Things that shouldn’t work, tend to work perfectly in a Liane Moriarty book. Plot points that would seem unbelievable if served up by literally any other author (other Moriarty sisters notwithstanding) are instead delivered with such graceful aplomb that they seem not only believable, but downright masterful.
And the characters! Liane Moriarty writes characters that are so real and relatable, riddled with so many aching vulnerabilities and charming idiosyncrasies that you cannot help but love them … then she starts planting those insidious little seeds of doubt. Before too long, it dawns on you that some of these characters you love have probably done some terrible things. But which ones? It might be all of them, or none of them, or perhaps the one you love the most? You will not know till you get to the end because the truth is, Liane Moriarty has a streak of wildcard genius that makes it impossible to predict where she will take a story. It’s art!
Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, perhaps you’d like to know a bit about what Apples Never Fall is about?
This is Liane Moriarty’s ninth novel and, like everything she writes, it’s now my favourite of her novels. I suspect it will remain my favourite of her novels until she writes her next one. As for what it’s about, you could say it’s the story of a family. The Delaneys are a genuinely happy and close-knit family, blessed with talent and privilege … but also shadowed by failure, misunderstandings, unrealised potential and a couple of nuclear grade secrets.