The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
|The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
|Category: Women's Fiction
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris
|Summary: Outsider Sophie is stirring up secrets and stepping on toes as she moves to Scribbly Gum island, but are the public ready for the big reveals?
|Date: October 2014
For years, Scribbly Gum has been a tourist trap, with crowds flocking from the mainland to visit the untouched site of the Munro Baby mystery, when a newborn was found abandoned on the island, her parents vanished. The baby is now a grandmother herself, but the mystery lingers on, and, well, it’s quite a good business for the residents. Silver linings and all that. But now Connie, one of two sisters who found the baby, has passed away, and left her house to a stranger, an outsider, someone who doesn't really belong on the island. Will Sophie’s arrival disturb the peace? Are long hidden secrets about to surface? And what will it mean for the extended family if they do?
This is such an ensemble book and the crazy, sometimes dysfunctional, family are more than worthy of this story. While Sophie is, in my mind, the lead of the tale, we mustn't forget her co-stars: the intriguing Grace and straight-forward Callum, Margie with her hang-ups and Ron with his marvellous ability to miss what’s going on in front of him (lesbians! An affair! Lifestyle transformation!) and Enigma, the Munro Baby herself. What makes this story outstanding is the way everyone gets a turn to tell their story. While the island is their life, there are lots of different takes on it and segments from the past quickly explain why the present day falls as it does. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but they're all distinct and with their own secrets – I especially liked Rose at the end with her innovative way to deal with her pain.
This is a brilliant read of secrets and lies, going far further than what happened to Alice and Jack. New mum Grace is finding motherhood more than she bargained for, while old mum Laura is shirking her responsibilities and flitting off round the world. Can either tell the other one how they feel?
Sophie almost has it all – a career, a wonderful new home in her dream location, excellent wine tasting knowledge – but can anyone really understand that this career woman really just wants to settle down and breed with a nice man (and she’s not fussy whether he’s a hot one or a clever one, or if she’s even his type). Enigma, who knows more about her birth mother than she’s letting on, is scared of what the world will think if or when they find out the truth.
Lianne Moriarty’s books always thrill me, and this one is no exception. It’s funny and touching and mysterious all in one, and I laughed out loud several times during the final part as everything started to wrap up. The fact that there was yet another reveal on the last page made me cackle. A fly away comment earlier in the story suddenly became a something rather than a nothing, and it all made sense. Go Rose.
Highly recommended, even with the age old elements of family feuds and boy-meets-girl drama, this is a brand new story you’ll never have imagined before
Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.
Little Lies was a later book of Moriarty's, though it hit the market first in the UK. It's a little bit slicker, editing wise, and even better than this one, if you can imagine such a thing. On the other hand, for a different sort of island life, On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves is just perfect.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty at Amazon.com.
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