REVIEW: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Posted September 26th, 2021 by in Blog, HJ Recommends, Mystery/Thriller, Review / 0 comments


In Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, It seems like every neighborhood has at least one family who are well-known, well-liked, and full of overachievers. The Delaneys are that family in their Australian suburb hometown. Parents Stan and Joy ran a thriving tennis school for decades and their now grown children: Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke, left behind their own tennis careers for other endeavors. But the time has come for Joy and Stan to sell their business. As retirees they’re struggling to find a new rhythm to their suddenly quiet lives. A shivering, mysterious young woman, having run away from a possibly abusive boyfriend, shows up at Stan and Joy’s door late one night bringing them a purpose–to help Savannah heal and get back on her feet.

‘Joy Delaney had been out of contact for thirteen days following an argument with her husband. This was a woman whose children couldn’t recall her going away for one night without her husband.’

The following year, Stan and Joy are still floundering without their daily jobs–and it seems they’re even having problems in their relationship. Then Joy seemingly disappears one day. Unfortunately, her family can’t locate her anywhere. Her confusing text to her four children is the only thing they have to go by. Well, that and the fact that it appears Savannah, who became estranged from the Delaneys, is also missing. As local police get involved and neighbors weigh in with their opinions, things keep pointing to foul play. And that Joy’s husband Stan could possibly be the culprit. But as police keep digging for details, all while the Delaney family is split down the middle in their belief of what’s truly going on, no one is prepared for the final outcome.

‘She hadn’t got a handle yet on this family. On the surface they seemed loving and cheerful but she could sense dysfunction bubbling ominously beneath their sporty, matter-of-fact demeanours.’

Clever writing and plot twists aplenty made Apples Never Fall an intense novel where nothing was as it seemed. Or was it?

‘Unimaginable things happened every single day and there wasn’t always a good reason.’

Trigger warning: View Spoiler »

I’m relatively new to Liane Moriarty’s writing but after this book I have a feeling I’ll be digging into her backlist soon. It did take me a short while to get a handle on the characters and the flow of the story itself where I tend to read more romance or fantasy than mysteries and thrillers. But when things started clicking into place? I was hooked. The dual timeline, the intriguing family dynamic–including the oftentimes silly but sometimes hurtful sibling rivalry, the small town secrets…they all added up to a well-rounded novel that had its fair share of ups and downs.

There were multiple POVs from the large cast of characters, not just from the Delaneys. And it all intersected in unexpected ways. Without giving away too much, I would say to pay attention to *all* the details and to who gets to show their own POV because it will make more sense as the events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Joy Delaney unfolds. Moriarty took time to really delve into the family’s history, some of the incidents that happened over the years with the Delaney siblings, and even into their neighbors’ lives. I honestly wondered why some of the details were included. But it was all there for a reason. And you won’t believe what actually happened when all is said and done!

Apples Never Fall kept me guessing and questioning each character’s motive over and over again thanks to Liane Moriarty’s detailed, evocative writing. Definitely recommended for mystery/thriller fans.

QUOTD: Do you like books with surprising plot twists? Any novels or fave authors who use this element that you can think of to share?

Book Info:

Publication: Published September 14th, 2021 | Penguin |

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty comes a novel that looks at marriage, siblings, and how the people we love the most can hurt us the deepest

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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