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Apples Never Fall

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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? Thi 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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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? Thi 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.

30 review for Apples Never Fall

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yun

    I've got to hand it to Liane Moriarty. Just when I think I've seen it all, she comes along and completely surprises me with this sparkling and startling gem of a tale. Joy Delaney, beloved wife and mother of four, has disappeared. Her adult children are rightfully aghast, but they're reluctant to report her missing. Because they know the prime suspect will be their father, and they're not really sure of his innocence. When the police start asking questions, it quickly becomes clear everyone in th I've got to hand it to Liane Moriarty. Just when I think I've seen it all, she comes along and completely surprises me with this sparkling and startling gem of a tale. Joy Delaney, beloved wife and mother of four, has disappeared. Her adult children are rightfully aghast, but they're reluctant to report her missing. Because they know the prime suspect will be their father, and they're not really sure of his innocence. When the police start asking questions, it quickly becomes clear everyone in the family has stories to tell and secrets to hide. And before it's all over, everything will be revealed and laid bare. I've really been enjoying stories about dysfunctional families lately, and this is such a superb one. The four siblings are all trying to figure out if their father could've really murdered their mother, and if so, which side would they be on? It's a fascinating premise, and the progression of the story captures all of the nuanced facets that this dilemma would bring to the family. What I've always admired about Moriarty's writing is her sharp and astute observations of people and their flaws. She has this ability to peel back the layers of family relationships and what it means to be human, and to expose everything ugly and beautiful within, while injecting just that right dose of humor. This book hits upon tender subjects that everyone would recognize as familiar, yet instead of making me cry, it made me laugh. Needless to say, I found this whole thing to be utterly riveting and unputdownable. The characters are memorable, the strife feels all too real, and the dialogue is snappy. I devoured it in just a few days. While the mystery isn't the core of this book, there were still plenty of revelations along the way that kept me surprised and delighted. Liane Moriarty is back! This seemingly simple tale of dysfunctional families and relationships, of people's flaws and the messiness of their lives, of unmet expectations and unspoken dreams, hit all the right notes for me. It feels like Moriarty's last two books have been a little bit off of her true form. But with this one, she again returns to the pinnacle of her craft. My heartfelt thanks for the advance copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    2.5 STARS / I was going to give it a 3, but the end ruined it Meh Read 467 pages and also listened to much of it... *Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins *Unabridged Audiobook *Narrated by: Caroline Lee This was a long time to invest in characters and a story. What started as a mystery of a missing mother became a bit of a slog with lots of repetition, dialogue and nothing happening (tennis references, migraines, anxiety, food, more tennis). There were a few moments of humor, but not enough to make this one very 2.5 STARS / I was going to give it a 3, but the end ruined it Meh Read 467 pages and also listened to much of it... *Length: 18 hrs and 3 mins *Unabridged Audiobook *Narrated by: Caroline Lee This was a long time to invest in characters and a story. What started as a mystery of a missing mother became a bit of a slog with lots of repetition, dialogue and nothing happening (tennis references, migraines, anxiety, food, more tennis). There were a few moments of humor, but not enough to make this one very enjoyable. The entire storyline was anticlimatic and unconvincing. I kept waiting for everything to make sense, it didn't (how can these smart people be so foolish)? I kept waiting for some kind of revelation (not worth it). I kept waiting for the explosive ending, never happened (You want me to believe that happened?). I won't even go into the COVID chapter (what was that)? I don't mind slow burns if the story holds my interest, but this one became frustrating and was definitely overwritten. I missed the fun and craziness her books usually deliver. It was just okay, I didn't love it. Oh well.....moving on..... Audible credit/ Library loan/ Read in October 2021

  3. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    Do you like apples? Well I got my favorite author back. How do you like them apples? My relationship with Liane Moriarty has felt a little one-sided in recent years. I became smitten with her when I read The Husband’s Secret but really fell hard for Big Little Lies. I went back and read most of her previous catalog but then… Truly Madly Guilty and Nine Perfect Strangers. (AKA Truly Madly OMG-pleasestopsayingatthebarbecue and Nine Perfect WTH-isthisactuallyhappeningamIondrugs.) I really needed a w Do you like apples? Well I got my favorite author back. How do you like them apples? My relationship with Liane Moriarty has felt a little one-sided in recent years. I became smitten with her when I read The Husband’s Secret but really fell hard for Big Little Lies. I went back and read most of her previous catalog but then… Truly Madly Guilty and Nine Perfect Strangers. (AKA Truly Madly OMG-pleasestopsayingatthebarbecue and Nine Perfect WTH-isthisactuallyhappeningamIondrugs.) I really needed a winner from my dear Liane or I was going to have to consider a breakup, and I’m over the moon that she delivered. Apples Never Fall follows the tennis-obsessed Delaney family, which includes two recently-retired parents and their four adult children. Matriarch Joy has gone missing, so there is an intriguing “what happened to mum?” plot to keep the pages turning. The thing that Liane Moriarty absolutely excels at is characterization. She must be the most keen observer of the human condition, because she nails insightful - and accurate - idiosyncrasies that make each of her fictional creations feel truly real. Fair warning though that there is a lot of tennis in this book. A LOT. You don’t have to like tennis to like the book, but if you love it… you’ll love it. And because you know I can't resist a little wordplay, I’ll end with this: Liane Moriarty is back in form and serving aces once again. Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  4. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    The real tragedy here? I will never get the hours and hours back that I wasted reading this. I’m a DNF Queen but I kept listening when I hated everything about it. I’ve seen the glowing reviews and knew it would SURELY get better if I just listened a little longer. Tedious, plodding, boring, and pointless. Plus, at 467 pages, it was at least 150 pages too long. I typically love slow-burn character studies as well as dysfunctional families, but not this time. When I finally waded through nearly th The real tragedy here? I will never get the hours and hours back that I wasted reading this. I’m a DNF Queen but I kept listening when I hated everything about it. I’ve seen the glowing reviews and knew it would SURELY get better if I just listened a little longer. Tedious, plodding, boring, and pointless. Plus, at 467 pages, it was at least 150 pages too long. I typically love slow-burn character studies as well as dysfunctional families, but not this time. When I finally waded through nearly the entire book to find out the resolution to the "riveting" mystery of what happened to Joy and who the mystery girl was, the book firmly sealed its fate as the worst book I have read this year. The ending made the book WORSE, not better. The turd on top of this steaming pile was a stupid pandemic chapter. Because I like to find at least one positive thing about a book, I will say there were flashes of humor that I enjoyed but they were too few and far between to make it worth slogging through such a long book. My time would have been better spent watching paint dry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Liane Moriarty's latest offering is an Aussie family drama featuring the renowned tennis obsessed Delaney family, the tall, handsome Stan, tennis coach extraordinaire, and his wife, Joy, the force behind their tennis business. They have 4 adult children, the unable to settle and plagued with mental health issues, Amy, the solid, reliable, handyman and business communications teacher, Logan, the slick wealthy divorced trader, Troy, and the migraine troubled physiotherapist, Brooke, struggling to Liane Moriarty's latest offering is an Aussie family drama featuring the renowned tennis obsessed Delaney family, the tall, handsome Stan, tennis coach extraordinaire, and his wife, Joy, the force behind their tennis business. They have 4 adult children, the unable to settle and plagued with mental health issues, Amy, the solid, reliable, handyman and business communications teacher, Logan, the slick wealthy divorced trader, Troy, and the migraine troubled physiotherapist, Brooke, struggling to make ends meet with her business. Joy and Stan have retired, having sold their tennis business, but retirement does not sit well with a couple who have led such active and busy lives, their long and happy marriage of 50 years is beginning to show signs of strain. The 69 year old Joy is desperately repressing her resentments and desire for grandchildren, placing her hopes on Logan and his partner, Indira, and Brooke's 10 year marriage to Grant, in expectation of them having a child soon. The only problem is that Indira has left Logan, and Grant has separated from Brooke, and neither Logan nor Brooke are keen on sharing this news with their parents. The story begins with the adult children discussing their missing mother, Joy had sent them all a text saying she was going off grid for a while. The only thing is that it is so unlike their mother to go off on her own, she left no note behind, and their father's face has what looks to be nail scratches, all of which has them worried, should they report Joy missing to the police? The narrative goes back and forth from the previous September and the present, the arrival of a strange woman, Savannah, turning up on Joy and Stan's doorstep, claiming to have been abused by her boyfriend. She is welcomed by Joy and Stan, taking up residence with them, but who exactly is she? There are many aspects of this novel that I enjoyed, particularly the complicated relationships between the adult Delaney siblings and their relationship with tennis, and the closer examination of Stan and Joy's perfect marriage and the flaws that come to be exposed, all of which lead the police to believe that Stan may be guilty of murder. I have loved all the Liane Moriarty books I have read previously, but I struggled with this one more, all the pieces were there, but the overlong story and the characters she created didn't capture my interest as much. I missed the bizarre and offbeat touches and the magical spark that usually lift her novels failed to ignite for me. What spurred me on to complete the novel was that I wanted to know what happened to Joy and to discover the truth behind the sudden appearance of Savannah in the Delaney family. I am sure there will be many readers who will love this more than me, so do please check other reviews of this book. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    Jokes 5/5, Storytelling 2/5, Editing 1/5 Stan and Joy have been married FOREVER and have recently retired from their Tennis School. As boredom sets in, they hear a knock on the door late one night. A mysterious girl is on their porch. Then, Joy goes missing. What happened to Joy? Is she alive or dead? And who is responsible? This book was quite funny; however, it was really, really long. Additionally, as a mystery, it could have been formatted in a much more compelling way. There was so much backs Jokes 5/5, Storytelling 2/5, Editing 1/5 Stan and Joy have been married FOREVER and have recently retired from their Tennis School. As boredom sets in, they hear a knock on the door late one night. A mysterious girl is on their porch. Then, Joy goes missing. What happened to Joy? Is she alive or dead? And who is responsible? This book was quite funny; however, it was really, really long. Additionally, as a mystery, it could have been formatted in a much more compelling way. There was so much backstory on this that I even forgot that Joy was missing for a good portion of the book. Applies Never Fall tried to touch on way too many things all at once: the pandemic, all different kinds of relationships, Troy's views, Polly Perkins, migraines, depression, and more. It tried to cover everything and the kitchen sink. Truthfully, I would have enjoyed this book more if it was edited down to half of its length. Overall, a book which is funny at times but too long.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Author), Caroline Lee (Narrator) This story looked so interesting but several of my friends started and didn't finish the book so I was apprehensive about giving the audiobook a try because it comes in at 18 hours at normal speed. I always finish a book so I'd be in for a long slog if I didn't like it. The not finishing a book is why I'm very careful about the books I accept or check out from the library. Once I started the audiobook, I wondered if I could sta Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Author), Caroline Lee (Narrator) This story looked so interesting but several of my friends started and didn't finish the book so I was apprehensive about giving the audiobook a try because it comes in at 18 hours at normal speed. I always finish a book so I'd be in for a long slog if I didn't like it. The not finishing a book is why I'm very careful about the books I accept or check out from the library. Once I started the audiobook, I wondered if I could stand so much of Joy yakking out loud and in her head while her husband, Stan, did his silent, surly thing. And the narrator's voice could be so squeaky at times, or a lot, actually, And then, Savannah showed up and silly Joy and Stan let her in and allow her to just STAY!?!?!? (My inner voice just squeaked on the word stay, now that I have the narrator stuck in my head). I became hooked on the story but also fell in love with the narration. It was so dramatic and sometimes silly and I adored it. We get to be there in everybody's head and also we get to eavesdrop on all the gossip and guessing about what is going on and what has gone on in the past. People thinking things that you'd never say out loud although they sometimes do say them out loud and it was so funny. Yes, yes, I felt bad for laughing when sixty nine year old Joy is missing and she might have been murdered by grumpy old seventy year old Stan. We get the story in two timelines, "now" and "specific times in the past six months". We get to know Joy and Stan's four adult children, all adversely affected by their parents relationship and their dedication to the sport of tennis. But the damage didn't start with Joy and Stan, they each had their rough upbringings that affected the way the reacted to the world around them and the expectations they had for themselves and their children. The story and the situations are very serious but still, life, what we think about life, and what we think about ourselves and others, can be funny and Caroline Lee did such a good job with her dramatic narration. I began to love every single squeak. I do wish I had some answers. At the end, as the author figuratively walks away from the book, there I was in the back of the room, waving my arms wildly, trying to get her attention because I had questions! I want to know things! But shucks, I didn't get the answers to my questions so I'm going to pout a little bit. I slept on this story because I finished it so late at night and woke up liking it even more this morning. Published September 14, 2021 by Macmillan Audio

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Liane Moriarty does it again! Joy Delaney has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. She’s left a cryptic message for her four children. And Stan, her husband, is acting very weird. The four children are loath to notify the police, because won’t suspicion fall on their dad? What does it say about the family that that’s the first thing they worry about? We hear from Joy, 69 years old, recently retired after selling their tennis academy, six months before she vanishes. Because out of the blue Liane Moriarty does it again! Joy Delaney has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. She’s left a cryptic message for her four children. And Stan, her husband, is acting very weird. The four children are loath to notify the police, because won’t suspicion fall on their dad? What does it say about the family that that’s the first thing they worry about? We hear from Joy, 69 years old, recently retired after selling their tennis academy, six months before she vanishes. Because out of the blue, a young woman arrives on their doorstep one night, after a fight with her boyfriend. I just loved the snarky humor of this story. The way Moriarty uses various people overhearing conversations between the siblings to move the story forward is just pitch perfect. The book really gripped me from the get go. We learn that each of the family members has their own secrets. I totally got the family dynamics, about who has to be called in what order, whose nose gets bent out of shape over what, who has what role. It just all rang true. But the book has a lot of depth to it as well. It has so much to say about how we perceive things, about choices made, about what we give up for others. While she’s a minor character, I adored Christina, the detective assigned to investigate Joy’s disappearance. There’s a bit about why her own parents divorced that had me laughing out loud and reading it to my husband (who was smart enough to understand). As the book progresses, the twists start to come fast and furious. I was constantly caught off guard, as I hadn’t anticipated most of them. This is truly a story for which Chekhov’s theory about a gun in act one being used in act two holds particularly true. Everything is tied up nicely here. And I sure didn’t anticipate that ending. One of those endings that just has you going what the h***… Like all of Moriarty’s works, this begs to be made into a mini-series. It’s got it all, the perfect mix of drama and humor, the fully formed characters, a story that has multiple layers. I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. My thanks to the publisher, Henry Holt and Company.

  9. 4 out of 5

    L.A.

    The Australian writer, Liane Moriarty, captured the family dynamics how we love and hurt the people closest to us. With complex relationships, flawed personalities, secrets, sibling rivalries and mainly regrets, we are harvested into this household through decades of their mistakes and failures. What could-have-been, what should-have-been and what is, reveals to us each decision they made had an outcome on their life. Brilliantly written with the best uncanny, snarky humor residing in every chap The Australian writer, Liane Moriarty, captured the family dynamics how we love and hurt the people closest to us. With complex relationships, flawed personalities, secrets, sibling rivalries and mainly regrets, we are harvested into this household through decades of their mistakes and failures. What could-have-been, what should-have-been and what is, reveals to us each decision they made had an outcome on their life. Brilliantly written with the best uncanny, snarky humor residing in every chapter, I could not stop until the last minute played, as I listened to Caroline Lee read the best rendition of these characters, I hung onto every word and character's life as if they were my neighbors and I was across the white picket fence eavesdropping. These characters are truly embodied into people we have probably grown up with. I can't wait to see this as a Netflix series and who would be typecast. The family finds themselves in a dilemma when the mother has "gone off grid" per her text to her adult children. Suspiciously, her phone is found underneath the bed, her bicycle is missing and her glasses found on the table. The opening chapter are the siblings discussing her mysterious disappearance at a local restaurant and whether the father is to blame. The waitress eavesdropping is just one of the many characters sprinkled throughout given insight to their opinion. "Apples never fall too far from the tree." Apples for an apple crumble pie...4 apples in the bicycle missing...4 children for every apple...🤔 With 4 children all different personalities but unable to maintain a relationship, Amy, Logan, Troy and Brooke share their idea, thoughts and views of growing up in their home and how their dad is capable of such a crime. Dad has scratches on his face and differs on the mention to call the police and report her missing. With the catalyst of clues, it is sure to be their father...don't they always look at the husband first as a suspect? Missing is the mother, Joy Delaney, 69 years old, who delivers a whimsical, "overly" helpful, June Cleaver image and "stay at home" parent who can be heard as the woman in the Geico commercial calling her son with a conversation about the squirrels in the attic while he fights off bad guys...gets me every time..clueless to what is outside her home, but don't let her fool you. She has secrets of her own. The father, Stan Delaney, a retired outstanding tennis coach developed a tennis empire with his wife and clearly has an obsession for talent... driving his children outside their realm of normalcy. His deadpan character displays gnomic and sarcastic canter that he constantly brings to center front with bitterness, his one time tennis pro student Harry Haddad. The children loathed hearing his name when they were compared to his strength in tennis to their own weaknesses. He reminded them quite often none of them had talent, causing a fury of resentment and instability in their lives. Then there is a stand alone character, Savannah, a stranger to them showing up on their doorstep beaten and bruised by an abusive boyfriend. The house was picked randomingly or was it? She becomes a mainstay earning her right to live with them cooking and cleaning while spending their money. The children soon become envious of her ease into their parents life and begin an investigation of their own before their mother disappeared. Savannah has disappeared too...The story not only develops what happened a year ago with transfers of present time, but gives you a lifetime of their experiences. The ending wasn't perfect, but how do I say it was perfectly woven in? I saw the side of COVID most of us were thinking, but told through the eyes of a clueless Joy. I laughed throughout this story, but on edge for the truth and baring my own soul in the process...We are a delightfully weird species put into perspective by this awesome author. Thanks NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this incredible ARC in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This was good I guess? I think I would have rated it higher if it wasn't for the ending. The explanation of the whole "what happened to Joy" thing was just stupid. And then the author decided we all needed to be reminded about the pandemic and that gets suddenly included at the end and I'm actually still kind of mad about that. If it had made sense to include it, like it was an integral part of the plot, I could have been ok with it, but this was just in there for no seemingly no rhyme or reason This was good I guess? I think I would have rated it higher if it wasn't for the ending. The explanation of the whole "what happened to Joy" thing was just stupid. And then the author decided we all needed to be reminded about the pandemic and that gets suddenly included at the end and I'm actually still kind of mad about that. If it had made sense to include it, like it was an integral part of the plot, I could have been ok with it, but this was just in there for no seemingly no rhyme or reason. Especially since I felt the book should have already ended before that point considering the mystery was already solved. So yeah, those two things made me drop this down to three stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (on hiatus for the holiday)

    I was thrilled to be approved for an advance listening copy of this book, and also excited to see that the narrator was Caroline Lee, who narrated the other Liane Moriarty books I've listened to previously. She gives the perfect voices to the entire Australian Delaney family and kept me completely invested in the story. This is a sweeping family saga featuring Joy and Stan, who have been married for fifty years and have four adult children--Amy, Brooke, Troy, and Logan. The family's "claim to fam I was thrilled to be approved for an advance listening copy of this book, and also excited to see that the narrator was Caroline Lee, who narrated the other Liane Moriarty books I've listened to previously. She gives the perfect voices to the entire Australian Delaney family and kept me completely invested in the story. This is a sweeping family saga featuring Joy and Stan, who have been married for fifty years and have four adult children--Amy, Brooke, Troy, and Logan. The family's "claim to fame" is that they have all been competitive tennis players in the past and Stan and Joy ran a tennis school and coached. One day, Joy turns up missing and suspicion turns to Stan. Even the children wonder if he might be guilty. The tale is told from two main directions--in the past leading up to Joy going missing and the present-day going forward with the investigation into her whereabouts. A mysterious visitor named Savannah factors in heavily. Sprinkled throughout are moments from the distant past and the shaping of the Delaney family's lives. I adore family sagas and this one absolutely did not disappoint. I don't have any knowledge or interest in tennis, but that doesn't matter at all. It's more the story of what has happened within their family and each of the siblings' lives. The characters are so well-drawn and full of life that I will honestly miss them--faults (ha tennis joke) and all--now that I'm finished with the book. Readers get a real sense of each of the Delaneys and Savannah and can both sympathize and empathize with them as various things are revealed. There is humor throughout the story and Joy often reminded me of my mother-in-law with her stream of consciousness talking, and yet she also reminded me of myself and the things women take on as wives and mothers that we would never expect men to take on. The mystery of what happened to Joy compelled me to keep going to discover the answer, but overall the answer isn't as important as the journey to get there. I also loved the portrayal of a 50 year marriage with its ups and downs and even the mundane middle ground. The ending of this book was a bit of a jaw-dropper because I was absolutely not expecting it, and yet it seemed so perfect to give closure to everything that happened. Moriarty's books are unique and this one is no exception. It's a much more straightforward story than her last book (Nine Perfect Strangers) and I'm so glad for that. The combination of family drama with mystery, sprinkled with humor and touching moments is a winner. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    The Delaney family saga’s entire story truly matches with proverbial saying: apple never falls from the tree! This is well written, interesting reading written by one of my all time favorite author’s dry and dark sense of witty humor ! There’s big mystery about a mother’s abrupt, sudden disappearance but as the story moves back and forth between past and present with multi POVs of Delaney members: we realize how their decisions, choices, misdemeanors, regrets, secrets in the past shaped their f The Delaney family saga’s entire story truly matches with proverbial saying: apple never falls from the tree! This is well written, interesting reading written by one of my all time favorite author’s dry and dark sense of witty humor ! There’s big mystery about a mother’s abrupt, sudden disappearance but as the story moves back and forth between past and present with multi POVs of Delaney members: we realize how their decisions, choices, misdemeanors, regrets, secrets in the past shaped their future : the author perfectly reflected the connection between last fall when a young named Savannah suddenly appeared at their parents’ house door and the progression of Joy Delaney’s sudden disappearance. What’s the main connection with two incidents? How children cope with the their mother’s disappearance? As two of them think their father must be involved with this incident ( including police officers because there are scratch marks on Stan’s face and everything he tells about how his wife got missing seems like a big lie) and two of them still thinks he’s innocent! I wanted to give you more information about the family’s background story so you can visualize a clear picture on your mind ( or maybe you start match actors with characters because I’m so sure we’re gonna see this book’s adaptation into the series just like the other scandalously delicious work of the author and interestingly ! By the way I couldn’t help myself so as a part of occupation, I already made a cast for the book ( or its possible future adaptation and of course I only thought brilliant Aussie actors) I thought Rose Bryne as Brooke and Rebel Wilson as Amy, Jai Courtney as Troy and Ryan Kwanten as Logan and here’s my Aussie couple suggestion : Joy must be played by Jacki Weaver and my ideal Stan candidate is John Noble! Oh, Savannah could be played by Margot Robbie ( even though I got sick of seeing her face at 10 different movies lately. ) Okay, let’s get back to the story; Delaneys always attract the attention of the community with their enormous heights and their obsession with tennis! Joy and Stan married for fifty years, ran a tennis school for a long time to coach adult children and raise future tennis stars! They also pushed their four children to become future tennis stars but unfortunately none of them pursued a career by following their parents’ footsteps even though they were talented enough and the obvious rivalry between them pushed their limits but at the end : their life didn’t turn into something they’ve dreamt of. And now they still hide so many secrets, dealing with their own insecurities. Joy and Stan finally sells their tennis house but without reflecting their all energy to the business, they feel lost. Then a perfect stranger named Savannah who seems shaken, beaten knocks their door, needing help to spend the night away from abusing boyfriend. So the couple ( at least Joy) welcomes her with open arms. As the time passes, Savannah becomes a member of the house and four children of Delaneys five different reactions to the forced addition to their family. The four children already deal with different problems. Eldest one Amy shows signs of suffering from bipolar: in her early forties she doesn’t have regular job, living with roommates ( mostly returns back to her parents’ house) , no boyfriend, no particular dream for life, trying too hard to look tough. Brooke with e is also about to lose her physiotherapy place she’s invested, taking break from longtime boyfriend, trying too hard to look as the most mature one but she struggles because of her insecurities. Logan also has regrets about not accepting the tennis scholarships in Chicago which could have changed his entire life but now his girlfriend left him and he’s not so full filled with his teaching job at community college and Troy also acts like superior as he feels more inferior, struggling with his job! None of them happy and none of them has any intention to share those secrets with each other! Overall: I loved the interception of past and present time events and I loved the contribution of random people’s POVs to the story ( waitress who try to get orders from siblings, gossiping customers at hair dresser, noisy taxi driver etc.) and that WTH ending was truly unexpected! This is not my most favorite book of the author but it is still so enjoyable. Her dry humor and fantastic storytelling skills gave us enough reason to get hooked up by Delaney family saga from the beginning! Looking forward to read next works of the author! ( probably we will see this book’s adaptation on streaming services)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Another excellent novel from this talented Australian author. She really knows how to delve into relationships, and expose all the secrets between families and friends. At the same time she writes a good story which keeps the reader engaged and hanging out for each new page to see what happens next. Apples Never Fall is a family saga centering around the Delaney family. Joy and Stan, the parents, are still married after fifty years, and are still playing up a storm on the tennis court at 69 and 7 Another excellent novel from this talented Australian author. She really knows how to delve into relationships, and expose all the secrets between families and friends. At the same time she writes a good story which keeps the reader engaged and hanging out for each new page to see what happens next. Apples Never Fall is a family saga centering around the Delaney family. Joy and Stan, the parents, are still married after fifty years, and are still playing up a storm on the tennis court at 69 and 70. Their four children Amy, Brooke, Troy and Logan, are all adults who have a bit of growing up still to do. There are a lot of childhood grievances hanging around and affecting their relationships and lives. Things come to a head when a family member disappears, another is suspected of murder and the others begin to take sides. It is a well designed mystery plot which continues throughout the book and kept me turning the pages until very late at night. There is a surprise ending which rounds everything up beautifully. I only had one criticism - the book does not stop at what was for me the obvious high point. It meanders along for several more chapters, like an epilogue, telling me all sorts of things which were nice to know but meant the book wound down to a stop instead stopping at the crescendo. Sometimes I think not everything needs to be explained. It's a small point though and lots of people probably will like the added details. Altogether this is an excellent book and just as enjoyable as all her others. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Moriarty is back with “Apples Never Fall”. I think this is one of her better works. What makes her special is her witty everyday observations: “He had bushy old-man eyebrows and good, honest, taxpaying eyes.” “Stan Delaney was not the sort of man to sit in a gutter. Her was far too tall.” “The words were not startling, but it felt somehow as if they were witnessing a startlingly intimate conversation.” Open any page and you will find Moriarty at her height of her career. She is a master of wordc Moriarty is back with “Apples Never Fall”. I think this is one of her better works. What makes her special is her witty everyday observations: “He had bushy old-man eyebrows and good, honest, taxpaying eyes.” “Stan Delaney was not the sort of man to sit in a gutter. Her was far too tall.” “The words were not startling, but it felt somehow as if they were witnessing a startlingly intimate conversation.” Open any page and you will find Moriarty at her height of her career. She is a master of wordcraft. As the story opens four adult siblings are at a café puzzling over their missing mother. They all received a curious text from her stating that she’s going off the grid for a while. Yet, no further explanation is provided. Plus, the text itself is questionable. It seems as though auto-correct might have blurred the information. Similar to previous works, Moriarty tells the tale in two timelines. She begins with the missing mother and then jumps to where it all began. And that would be the last September when a mysterious woman just knocks on their parent’s door, stating that she’s a victim of domestic abuse. The Delaneys (the parents) are winding down for the night when this woman, Savannah (or is that her real name?) infiltrates their lives. From the start, it seemed that there was something fishy about Savannah and her story, yet the Delaney parents are fully charmed by their new boarder. Of course, Savannah works diligently in the Delaney household, creating beautiful dinners, thoughtful cinnamon toast, and minestrone soup. The parents are awed and in love. Of course they create room in their empty-nest home. From the start, the children found Savannah suspect. There is unease with this woman staying with their elderly parents…just out of the blue! The difficulty though is that Savannah brings them such happiness. The Delaney’s have just sold their tennis academy, so both are struggling to find purpose. Joy, the wife, wants to be a grandmother. Stan, the father, is obsessed with a former student who is making a comeback in tennis and writing a memoir. This student quit the Delaney academy right before he rose to Grand Slam fame. Stan never got over Harry’s betrayal of leaving Stan for another coach. Because of their retirement from tennis, there is a bit of idle time finding the elder Delaneys. They are in a rut and primed for an astute interloper. Once Joy goes missing, Stan looks mighty guilty. Through the tossing back and forth between timelines, the reader learns of Stan and Joy’s marriage, and their partnership in the academy. We learn about the four Delaney children, both past and present failures and successes. We learn of Joy’s concern for her children, Stan’s total consumption with the game of tennis. Moriarty superbly brings each character to vivid life. And she creates such a story with some red herrings and deflections that forces the reader to be on their toes. With Moriarty, subtle clues are peppered throughout the story. Moriarty also adds a few extraneous characters who may or may not be a part of the mystery. Each character does provide something to the story, whether that character holds a tiny piece of the mystery answer, or, the character adds dimension and humor. There are layers of family drama. All characters are more than they initially seem. My only criticism is that it is a bit too long. The last 30-40 pages could have been whittled down. Yet, I still fully endorse this story. Her insights into family dynamics and the complexities of the years of relationships makes her stories relatable. I found Joy’s inner thoughts and feelings a treat to read because it is all so real. As a wife and mother, Joy resonated with me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Apples Never Fall by Lianne Moriarty is a 2021 Henry Holt and Co. Publication. This one had my name on it! The Delaney family was destined to be a tennis dynasty of sorts. Joy and Stan ran a tennis school, but while all their children played tennis, none of them made it into the pros... The children are all grown now, with various occupations, and riddled with various life challenges, but everything comes to a crashing halt when Joy goes missing. Switching back and forth in time, we learn that on Apples Never Fall by Lianne Moriarty is a 2021 Henry Holt and Co. Publication. This one had my name on it! The Delaney family was destined to be a tennis dynasty of sorts. Joy and Stan ran a tennis school, but while all their children played tennis, none of them made it into the pros... The children are all grown now, with various occupations, and riddled with various life challenges, but everything comes to a crashing halt when Joy goes missing. Switching back and forth in time, we learn that once Joy is left with an empty nest, a chance encounter with a troubled young woman named Savannah, morphs into a full-fledged bond for Joy, bordering on a mother/daughter type relationship between the women. We also learn of Stan’s massive career disappointments, mainly being dropped as the coach for a student who went on to massive success in the tennis world. Each of the Delaney children are given a voice, and each is as different as night and day, except that each harbors resentments, disappointments, and suffer from relationship woes. Each responds differently to their mother’s sudden disappearance. We also get an up close and personal glimpse inside Joy and Stan’s marriage. To anyone who knows them, the couple is the epitome of a perfect marriage- on and off the tennis court. Of course, everything is not always as it seems… I really liked this book and for anyone who knows me, that will come as no surprise. I’m always up for a good family saga and it’s even better if there’s a mystery involved in there somewhere, too. The story, for those who are looking primarily for a thriller, goes much deeper than what is on the surface. Joy’s disappearance is a catalyst for the Delaney’s, as memories surface cataloguing the many familial resentments, misunderstanding, and secrets - past and present - that bubble up to the surface. The mystery, the ‘gotcha’ moment, which sort of made me laugh, since I already had my suspicions, might be too much for some- and I get that- but the mystery, in my opinion, was mainly a means to an end. At the heart of the story is the character study of a family, and life. Moriarty nails family and human dynamics- even if our lives are nothing like the Delaney’s, there’s recognition in there, all the same. While the criminal element is quirky, and perhaps the weakest link in the story, overall, I think the author is going for something deeper here. I thought the story was brilliant- smart, clever, thought provoking and entertaining. 4 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    This was horribly dull and frankly ridiculous! 🙄 Too long, too many unbelievable moments, too many phone pick ups(650 is my estimate), but a great story to nap/sleep! 🤦‍♀️to.

  17. 4 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    3.5★ “She would say, Here is one possible motive and here is another, because any marriage of that many years has multiple motives for murder. Every police officer and hairdresser knows that.” There used to be an ad for hair colouring that said “only her hairdresser knows for sure”. Well, this is what Joy’s hairdresser said after Joy went missing. Moriarty is great at putting together an ensemble of players with identifiable voices and characteristics. The Delaneys are a family of six, parents Joy 3.5★ “She would say, Here is one possible motive and here is another, because any marriage of that many years has multiple motives for murder. Every police officer and hairdresser knows that.” There used to be an ad for hair colouring that said “only her hairdresser knows for sure”. Well, this is what Joy’s hairdresser said after Joy went missing. Moriarty is great at putting together an ensemble of players with identifiable voices and characteristics. The Delaneys are a family of six, parents Joy and Stan with their two sons and two daughters, all independent adults. The parents met playing tennis and have only just retired from their successful tennis coaching business. The kids played at different levels, and if you’re a tennis fan, you’ll probably appreciate the background. Another character, Savannah, is introduced early in the piece, and she is something else again. She arrives on a rainy night, out of the blue, knocks on the senior Delaneys’ front door, and with an empty nest, Joy welcomes her in. Joy has been worried about her memory and wonders if she's supposed to know this girl and has forgotten her. “She was only familiar in the way everyone seemed familiar these days. They’d just let a stranger into the house. She checked for signs of criminal tendencies and found none, although she wasn’t exactly sure how those tendencies would manifest themselves. The nose stud was really quite pretty.” Joy dives right in, cleans her up with a special bubble bath, finds some of Amy’s old clothes for her, and settles her in “Amy’s” room. “Amy, their eldest, their ‘free spirit’ as Joy liked to call her, their ‘problem child’ as Stan liked to call her, was turning forty next year, and she hadn’t officially lived at home for two decades, but she still used her old bedroom as a kind of permanent storage unit, because she never seemed to settle at one address long enough to properly relocate her possessions.” Amy also has blue hair and lives in a share house. Sister Brooke is a physiotherapist who goes to sports days secretly hoping for injured players she can recruit for treatment. Their brothers, Troy (financially successful trader in NYC) and Logan (fit, always employed locally), gather together with their sisters to try to figure out where their mother has gone. And who is this Savannah person who seems to have been living with their parents, doing all the cooking? The parents obviously loved having her there for a long time, but she's gone, too. We hear about Amy’s alternative lifestyle, Brooke’s migraines (and physio work), Troy’s expensive tastes and flashy cars and life in New York, and a bit about Logan’s rather quiet life in their hometown. He’s a decent man, often wearing rough work clothes. “He was a big, solid guy and he knew he should dress more respectably because women sometimes crossed to the other side of the street if they saw him walking behind them at night. He always wanted to shout out his apologies.” I do feel for these fellows who seem scary for no fault of their own. But as much as I enjoyed the individual characters and the last 25% or so of the story, the first three-quarters was so slow and (I hate to say it) boring that if it hadn’t been Liane Moriarty writing, I’d have abandoned it before the story picked up. I kept thinking (hoping, hoping!) something would happen that would explain why the beginning was so uninspiring. Having said that, I can see this easily being the basis for another mini-series. The cast possibilities are endless, and I reckon a good script with more suspense and bite could easily be developed from this. The premise is good and the ending is good. It's just way too slow getting there. Thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for the copy for review. I’ll still look forward to her next one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: The waitress approached the table . . . noting how they each sat in the same distinctive way, with their ankles locked around the front legs of their chairs, as if to prevent them from sliding away. 'Excuse me?' They didn't hear her. They were all talking at once, their voices overlapping. They were definitely related. They even sounded similar: low,deep, husky-edged voices. People with sore throats and secrets. 'She's not technically missing. She sent us that text.' 'I just can't believe EXCERPT: The waitress approached the table . . . noting how they each sat in the same distinctive way, with their ankles locked around the front legs of their chairs, as if to prevent them from sliding away. 'Excuse me?' They didn't hear her. They were all talking at once, their voices overlapping. They were definitely related. They even sounded similar: low,deep, husky-edged voices. People with sore throats and secrets. 'She's not technically missing. She sent us that text.' 'I just can't believe she's not answering her phone. She always answers.' 'Dad mentioned her new bike is gone.' 'What? That's bizarre.' 'So . . . she just cycled off down the street and into the sunset?' 'But she didn't take her helmet. Which I find very weird.' 'I think it's time we reported her missing.' 'It's over a week now. That's too long.' 'Like I said, she's not technically -' 'She is the very definition of missing because we don't know where she is.' The waitress raised her voice to the point where it was perilously close to rude. 'Are you ready to order yet?' They didn't hear her. 'Has anyone been over to the house yet?' 'Dad told me please don't come over. He's "very busy".' 'Very busy? What's he so busy doing?' The waitress shuffled alongside them, in between the chairs and the wall, so that one of them might see her. 'You know what could happen if we reported her missing?' The better looking of the two men spoke. He wore a long sleeved linen shirt rolled up to the elbows; shorts and shoes without socks. He was in his early thirties, the waitress guessed, with a goatee and the low-level charismatic charm of a reality star or a real estate agent. 'They'd suspect Dad.' 'Suspect Dad of what?' asked the other man, a shabbier, chunkier, cheaper version of the first. Instead of a goatee, he just needed a shave. 'That he . . . you know.' The expensive version brother drew his finger across his neck. The waitress went very still. This was the best conversation she'd overheard since she'd started waitressing. 'Jesus, Troy.' The cheaper version brother exhaled. 'That's not funny.' The other man shrugged. 'The police will ask if they argued. Dad said they did argue.' 'But surely - ' 'Maybe Dad did have something to do with it,' said the youngest of the four, a woman wearing a short orange dress dotted with white daisies over a swimsuit knotted at the neck. Her hair was dyed blue (the waitress coveted that exact shade), and it was tied back in a sticky, wet, tangled knot at her neck. There was a fine sheen of sandy sunscreen on her arms as if she'd just that moment walked off the beach, even though they were at least a forty minute drive from the coast. 'Maybe he snapped. Maybe he finally snapped.' ABOUT 'APPLES NEVER FALL': 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. MY THOUGHTS: Apples Never Fall is an excellent family drama/mystery that delves into family dynamics with disarming honesty and more than a little humour. I laughed as I recognized shades of myself and my three brothers in these conversations. Even Savannah was startlingly familiar. Though the cuckoo in our nest was called Sharilyn, and she was far more benign than Savannah. Moriarty has a definite talent for characterisation. Her characters are vibrant and alive, and tend to leap off the page and move into your life for the duration of the book. This, combined with her devious mind which conjures up intriguing mysteries, guarantees a read that just can't be put down. Like an onion, the layers of the Delaney family are peeled back one by one, revealing their insecurities, their resentments, their petty jealousies, their disappointments, their fears. Like most families, they have wallpapered over the cracks in their lives, given up on their dreams, settled for second best, all the time telling themselves that it's just life, that this is the reality of adulthood. But when Savannah intrudes and Joy goes missing, the plasters are ripped off, the wounds and battle scars exposed for all to see. There are some shocking revelations and surprises! Although the mystery of Joy's disappearance is always there, it is not the main focus of the story. It is merely a vehicle for the dissection of a family unit under pressure; an examination of their values, their loyalties, their coping strategies. I would be interested to learn if Brooke ever has another migraine. Apples Never Fall had me laughing and, at one point, snivelling into a fistful of tissues. Moriarty put my emotions through the wringer. Apples Never Fall is an irresistible read. It's charming, and surprising, just what I have come to expect from one of my favourite authors. What I wasn't expecting was that final chapter. Stunning! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #ApplesNeverFall #NetGalley I: #lianemoriarty @macmillanaus T: #LianeMoriarty @MacmillanAus #fivestarread #contemporaryfiction #familydrama #mystery THE AUTHOR: She lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter. When she’s not writing she can be found reading, demanding coffee, being taken for a brisk walk by her Labrador, skiing like she’s thirty years younger than she is, recovering from skiing injuries, talking to old friends about getting old, and begging her children for help with technology. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  19. 5 out of 5

    chan ☆

    kind of makes me laugh that i was bitching about middle aged couples and their portrayal in thrillers and then this book comes along

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    What a tangled story ... and I loved it all! The Delaneys are a flawed, complicated, and extremely close family. Add to that Savannah, with her own faults, issues, and shady agenda. Together, they are quite an unforgettable group of characters. This is an intricate character-driven story full of surprises. I was hooked by the mystery and revelations, and really felt I got to know all the characters. Told in alternating timelines (Then and Now) and multiple POVs (main characters and community), it What a tangled story ... and I loved it all! The Delaneys are a flawed, complicated, and extremely close family. Add to that Savannah, with her own faults, issues, and shady agenda. Together, they are quite an unforgettable group of characters. This is an intricate character-driven story full of surprises. I was hooked by the mystery and revelations, and really felt I got to know all the characters. Told in alternating timelines (Then and Now) and multiple POVs (main characters and community), it's a well rounded and captivating story. I loved the humor and perspective the story offered, while tackling some serious issues. I've read every book Liane Moriarty has written, and this one's now my favorite. I highly recommend the audiobook. As usual, Caroline Lee did a fantastic job bringing another one of the author's books to life.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Do you have a favorite Liane Moriarty book? I’m a fan, and I think this one is mine, but then I always think her latest book is my favorite! 😍 Apples Never Fall is the story of the Delaney family. They are peas in a pod, those Delaneys. One day the mother, Joy, goes missing, and the Delaney father, Stan, is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Married for over fifty years, they seem like the perfect power couple ready to enjoy a new stage of life together. That said, they are beyond unhappy. Do you have a favorite Liane Moriarty book? I’m a fan, and I think this one is mine, but then I always think her latest book is my favorite! 😍 Apples Never Fall is the story of the Delaney family. They are peas in a pod, those Delaneys. One day the mother, Joy, goes missing, and the Delaney father, Stan, is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Married for over fifty years, they seem like the perfect power couple ready to enjoy a new stage of life together. That said, they are beyond unhappy. The Delaneys have four adult children together. A stranger named Savannah appears one night, and the Delaneys allow her to stay. That’s when Joy goes missing, and only Stan is left holding the bag when his wife (and Savannah) are gone. Two children side with Stan in his innocence, but the other two aren’t so sure. Who do you believe? This is a juicy little mystery with a WOW ending I never saw coming. Lots of family drama in these pages, and a well-written, engaging story to boot. I already have hopes we’ll see it on the small screen one day. Well-done! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  22. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Ahh it doesn't get much better than a family which loves one another dearly - so much in fact, that they just want to murder each other sometimes, and may have done just that. I must admit, I was not a big fan of Liane Moriarty's previous two books, but this one reminded me of why Moriarty has been one of my go-to authors for years! The Delaney family is the envy of their Australian community - everyone knows them and loves this tennis-obsessed family. Not only did parents, Stan and Joy, once ru Ahh it doesn't get much better than a family which loves one another dearly - so much in fact, that they just want to murder each other sometimes, and may have done just that. I must admit, I was not a big fan of Liane Moriarty's previous two books, but this one reminded me of why Moriarty has been one of my go-to authors for years! The Delaney family is the envy of their Australian community - everyone knows them and loves this tennis-obsessed family. Not only did parents, Stan and Joy, once run a successful school where they coached renowned tennis players, including their four now-adult children; they still successfully compete in doubles tournaments in their golden years. All appears to be perfect until one night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, and life changes for them all. Fast forward less than a year later, and Joy Delaney disappears, and Stan's suspicious behavior places him as suspect numero uno, and even their children have doubts. Once Joy disappears, everyone speculates what exactly went on in the Delaney household after Savannah entered their lives, and the Delaney children begin evaluating their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, suspicious eyes. Interestingly, although the storyline focuses largely on a missing woman and a husband accused, it really isn't the focal point of the book. It is more about complex family relationships and rivalries, and is part contemporary fiction, part mystery. I love Moriarty's use of wry humor, even in an intense family drama. I also found it very clever how past and present day were weaved together in alternating chapters, not only with the main characters, but also with random secondary characters - it added an interesting touch to the back stories. Although this one doesn't contain the shocking, fantastical moments that some of her other books do, in signature Moriarty fashion, the plot takes numerous twist and turns, and the characters become more relatable with every chapter. I couldn't put it down, as I needed to find out what happened to Joy. The one thing I will say is that it is a LONG book, and I felt like it could have been a hundred pages shorter without taking anything away from the plot. I also thought that the sudden jump to COVID-world at the very end of the book felt out of place and forced - it just wasn't necessary. Overall, though, I found this to be a gripping family drama that deftly explores how parental expectation, even unintended, can become toxic to an entire family. 4 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK ! It took forever, but I loved it. (*And it didn't take too long because of the book, it took too long because of my life at the moment. An almost 500 page book does not go quickly when you only get 10 minutes a night to read!) I know there are a lot of mixed reviews out there for this book. People complain they have no idea what the point was, nothing happens, it's too long (it kind of was - more on that in a second), but you know what? I absolutely, 100% could not have I FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK ! It took forever, but I loved it. (*And it didn't take too long because of the book, it took too long because of my life at the moment. An almost 500 page book does not go quickly when you only get 10 minutes a night to read!) I know there are a lot of mixed reviews out there for this book. People complain they have no idea what the point was, nothing happens, it's too long (it kind of was - more on that in a second), but you know what? I absolutely, 100% could not have loved and appreciated this more. Real quick - if you have a chance to listen to the audiobook of this. I HIGHLY recommend that you do. (Or split your time like I did between reading and listening.) The narrator is so amazing in how she brought the crazy Delaney family to life. Particularly, in her personification of Joy Delaney. I was laughing out loud, in public - I don't mean chuckling - I mean full out guffawing. My husband looked at me weird a few times. Having the narrator's voice of each character in my head while I was reading was such a pleasure. This was NOT a plot based book - this is strictly character driven, so if you don't like those then 100% steer clear. The book I would relate this to that I've read in the past few years is All Adults Here. It is just like that in terms of you follow different members of a family in each chapter and the story is about a time in the life of this family. Joy (the matriarch of the Delaney family) is missing. Her four kids don't quite realize she is missing until they realize she is. It kind of looks like Stan (their father), may have had some involvement, but did he? Then there was this mysterious house guest that stayed with Joy & Stan for a few weeks a couple of months before she disappeared. Is she involved in Joy's disappearance? So many questions and it takes a long time to get through it, but wow, I loved every single second of that journey. This family was amazing to spend time with. I also loved how you zoomed out and got small chapters from neighbor's and police detectives and hairdressers and other extraneous people that had some connection to the Delaney family. It was just so great. Book length - yes. It's too long. I'm not quite sure what to cut though? I had the same thought with The Most Fun We Ever Had. That book was entirely too long and it made it drag, but for whatever reason this book did not drag for me. There was a period during the last 100 pages where I kept thinking this is the end. Oh wait, no it's not? Okay, now it's the end. Still? Not the end? But it didn't annoy me because it was providing a conclusion. I've been going through a lot in my life for the past month and a half. A lot of it has been very stressful and it has been wonderful to turn to this family every night and catch up with them. I will hold this book in my heart forever because of it. (Sorry this review is a jumbled mess, I'm writing it in a hurry!) Thank you so much to Henry Holt Books for the gifted print copy, Liane Moriarty and Libro.fm for the gifted ALC. Review Date: 09/17/2021 Publication Date: 09/14/2021

  24. 4 out of 5

    NILTON TEIXEIRA

    Book = 467 pages totalling 144k words. Number of times a word appears: Mother = 494 Father = 271 Dad = 253 Tennis = 244 Girl = 237 Love = 217 Parents = 176 Mum = 152 Body = 65 Migraine = 57 Hate= 51 Apple = 44 Crumble = 27… 71 chapters. Average reading time: 11 to 12 hours (less than 8 for me). Audiobook: 18.1 hours (at normal speed) I know that I’m bored when I start counting words. Anyways… this book started very well and I thought that I was in for a good ride. Although I enjoyed the writing, the humour and the Book = 467 pages totalling 144k words. Number of times a word appears: Mother = 494 Father = 271 Dad = 253 Tennis = 244 Girl = 237 Love = 217 Parents = 176 Mum = 152 Body = 65 Migraine = 57 Hate= 51 Apple = 44 Crumble = 27… 71 chapters. Average reading time: 11 to 12 hours (less than 8 for me). Audiobook: 18.1 hours (at normal speed) I know that I’m bored when I start counting words. Anyways… this book started very well and I thought that I was in for a good ride. Although I enjoyed the writing, the humour and the book structure, I did find it a bit boring and pointless. I did not even feel that entertained. I do think that it could have been reduced by 150 pages. I like reading stories around dysfunctional families, but here I thought that everything was too shallow. The fact that I wasn’t connected with any of the characters was not a problem, but I wish that I was able to feel something instead of numbness. I also tried the audiobook (borrowed from the public library) narrated by Caroline Lee, but unfortunately her voice is too squeaky for my ears and I couldn’t stand it. As for the conclusion, the author added a small section that includes the current pandemic, perhaps to make this book more current, but I don’t think that it was necessary, as it added nothing to the drama. Then we have the solution of the mystery, which wasn’t what I expected. So, why 3 stars? Because of her writing. There is a quality that I can’t ignore and it’s also so unpretentious, just the way I like.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Porton

    Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty was a very enjoyable read. The story revolves around Stan and Joy Delaney, a couple of tennis tragics – having run a Tennis Academy in Sydney for many years. They have now sold their business and have four adult children, Logan, Amy, Troy and Brooke. Parents and kids alike were all terrific tennis players, just on the cusp of ‘making it’. As with any large family, there’s some interesting interplay between family members, such as sibling rivalries, jealousies Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty was a very enjoyable read. The story revolves around Stan and Joy Delaney, a couple of tennis tragics – having run a Tennis Academy in Sydney for many years. They have now sold their business and have four adult children, Logan, Amy, Troy and Brooke. Parents and kids alike were all terrific tennis players, just on the cusp of ‘making it’. As with any large family, there’s some interesting interplay between family members, such as sibling rivalries, jealousies – resentments and the parents have the usual smattering of issues you’d expect from any long-term married couple. This alone is interesting enough for a story. Enter Savannah, a mysterious girl who comes into the lives of the Delaney family. This turns the family on its head – the reader is left guessing what this young woman is all about, why is she there? You know, I’m not sure if it was the familiarity of Australian life (in Sydney), the sport of Tennis – which, along with cricket is a staple of the Aussie sporting diet over the summer months, or the writing. It’s probably all of these factors that made this a very enjoyable read for me. I found it fresh and lively and I was looking forward to picking it up after a day at work. The ending was a little unexpected, which was good. If you enjoy a mystery with a good dash of family drama – you’ll probably enjoy this one. 4 Stars Many thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for my review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    In this family drama, Liane Moriarty does what she does really well, and that is to write interesting character studies and family dynamics. The Delaney family of parents and four grown children from 29 to 39, on the surface seem to be a normal, loving family. But like many families there are secrets, resentments and personality flaws seething below the surface. The Delaney parents, Stan and Joy are recently retired after running a well known tennis academy for fifty years. Their children Amy, T In this family drama, Liane Moriarty does what she does really well, and that is to write interesting character studies and family dynamics. The Delaney family of parents and four grown children from 29 to 39, on the surface seem to be a normal, loving family. But like many families there are secrets, resentments and personality flaws seething below the surface. The Delaney parents, Stan and Joy are recently retired after running a well known tennis academy for fifty years. Their children Amy, Troy, Logan and Brooke all grew up playing competitive tennis but none had the dedication to go on to the world circuit, something Stan has never quite forgiven them for. Now with too much time on their hands, Joy is hoping for the arrival of grandchildren to help fill the void tennis has left. Although Troy is divorced and Amy never seems to keep a boyfriend long, Logan is in a long term relationship, and Brooke married although busy getting her new physiotherapy practice off the ground. The novel is told in two lines, telling of two significant events in the family. In the current time line, Joy disappears on Valentines’ Day 2020, sending the children a text to say she is going off grid for a while. She’s never disappeared before but the family are sure she will return soon. However, when she doesn’t return within a few days they report her missing to the police. Some months prior to Joy disappearing, a young woman, Savannah, turned up on Joy and Stan’s doorstep saying she had run away from her abusive boyfriend. Despite her being a stranger, they took her in, offering her a place to stay until she finds her feet. The children are suspicious of Savannah’s motives and concerned that she has become close with their mother and doesn’t look in a hurry to leave. She seems very sweet and nice but is she too good to be true? I found the build-up of both the two story lines somewhat slow, but intriguing enough to keep me reading. There was a lot of character development, which is always one of this author's strengths. Also a lot about the siblings’ life and their time growing up in a tennis academy, as well as a lot of details of the police investigation of the family. I did enjoy the myriad of little facts sprinkled through the novel that turned out to be important when they later slotted into place, but overall I felt the novel lacked some of the quirkiness and spark that add that little bit of fun and magic to Moriarty’s best novels. With many thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia and Netgalley for a copy to read

  27. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Oh, is Liane Moriarty a sly one indeed. This is a clever book written by a deft and skilled author. What seems like a story simply about the dynamics of family relationships becomes more complex when a dysfunctional family’s own interactions intersect. We find out immediately in the prologue that the mother, Joy is missing, and no one seems to know where she could be. Each chapter takes us back and forth between then, a year ago, and now. We’ll learn much more about each of the four siblings, as Oh, is Liane Moriarty a sly one indeed. This is a clever book written by a deft and skilled author. What seems like a story simply about the dynamics of family relationships becomes more complex when a dysfunctional family’s own interactions intersect. We find out immediately in the prologue that the mother, Joy is missing, and no one seems to know where she could be. Each chapter takes us back and forth between then, a year ago, and now. We’ll learn much more about each of the four siblings, as well as Joy and Stan’s marriage. Joy and Stan ran a successful tennis academy both being former tennis champions themselves. As Joy fell into running the business Stan did most of the coaching. They each taught classes as the business grew. At the start of this story Joy and Stan are retired and have sold the tennis academy. Having been active all their lives adjusting to retirement is taking some time. Joy constantly regrets the time she was too busy to spend with her kids when they were younger, she wonders why they never call her, she worries if she’ll ever have grandchildren. Stan meanwhile is content watching TV from his recliner falling asleep for occasional cat naps. One night, as it approaches midnight, there’s knocking on their front door. Naturally they assume their kids would call first if it were one of them, but yet they open the door. A young, distraught women, girl really, wet and bruised comes tumbling in, barefoot no less. Joy instantly brings her into the kitchen to clean and bandage her wound, offering her something to eat, before they know anything about her. They do learn her name is Savannah, she had a fight with her boyfriend, and she has nowhere else to go. Joy insists she stay the night, she does, in fact she stays several months. They still don’t know much more about Savannah, but she will play a key role in the Delaney family in many ways, as they are yet to discover. The adult kids are each interesting and the dialogue is funny and occasionally a bit weird. Amy, the eldest, seems to have mental health issues, but Joy feels, “she’s tough as nails at her core.” Logan, the eldest of the two boys, never really interested in tennis, is laid-back and seems so confident. Again, Joy knows, “he just pretends not to care, but he really does.” Troy, the third child, always the angry teen, always competitive, angling for his father’s attention especially the coaching he was giving to another student. As an adult he’s still competitive as a trader, flying between Sydney and New York as if they were just a few miles apart, dressing well, always wanting the best. Joy knows, “he acts superior, but feels inferior.” Brooke, the youngest and baby of the family, used to getting everyone’s attention, ’but wants to be the most grown-up of all the adult kids.’ But her Physiotherapy clinic is barely making it and her marriage is not working. “Only Joy knew exactly what lay behind the facades her children presented to the world.” Yet, as with most families, when siblings return to the family home as adults, especially all at one time, we all tend to revert to our childhood relationships of petty rivalries, competitiveness, as if we were all still twelve years old. Be prepared to spend a year with the Delaney family. If you get impatient, do not skip ahead, and for the love of lollipops, DO NOT READ THE LAST CHAPTER. It will NOT tell you anything about Joy, and it will make absolutely NO SENSE unless you’ve read the entire story. Please, trust me on this! We do find out about Joy and why it takes so long to figure things out. I’m being careful of my wording, so I don’t give anything away. It’s great and you’ll love it, at least I did. Last word. At 480 pages (print ARC) this story may not move as quickly as some readers might want, but if you settle in and approach it as a good mystery, spending time getting to know one family while discovering the total imbalance of another, you will surely be rewarded. Thank you, Henry Holt and Company, for the galley, and to Liane Moriarty!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Having Caroline Lee read this new Liane Moriarty release is the secret ingredient in my book experience. This is, without a doubt, my favorite so far from the esteemed author. There are so many moving parts: tennis, marriage difficulties, sibling rivalry, revenge, cell phones, flirting, shopping, memoirs, and so much more. The least of which is the famous apple crumble. What is it that gives it that over the top taste that no other apple crumble can match? And you need four apples to make it --l Having Caroline Lee read this new Liane Moriarty release is the secret ingredient in my book experience. This is, without a doubt, my favorite so far from the esteemed author. There are so many moving parts: tennis, marriage difficulties, sibling rivalry, revenge, cell phones, flirting, shopping, memoirs, and so much more. The least of which is the famous apple crumble. What is it that gives it that over the top taste that no other apple crumble can match? And you need four apples to make it --love the cover art. There are also four Delaney children. Hmmm! So much to unpack with this one. I love, love, love this one. The surprises kept popping up. Each time I thought we had reached the conclusion, up goes the curtain for another scene that perfectly complements and completes the prior narrative. If you can, listen to it. You will not be disappointed! Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for an audio ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissac

    I loved the book as I knew I would. It is a great family story with a mystery. There are some major surprises in this too. The people who gave it low ratings prior to the ARC release were ridiculous. I am glad I offset it with my review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    “The police might be calling it a missing persons investigation, but anyone with a brain knows they’re treating it as a murder investigation.” Family drama, a random stranger appearing at the family home in the night, a missing woman and a husband who probably did it???? I mean this sounds like my cup of tea. Oh AND it’s by Liane Moriarty. What’s not to love? Now where did I leave that Tina Belcher gif????? Oh yeah, here it is . . . . . This was a huge hit for all of my friends, but I’m s “The police might be calling it a missing persons investigation, but anyone with a brain knows they’re treating it as a murder investigation.” Family drama, a random stranger appearing at the family home in the night, a missing woman and a husband who probably did it???? I mean this sounds like my cup of tea. Oh AND it’s by Liane Moriarty. What’s not to love? Now where did I leave that Tina Belcher gif????? Oh yeah, here it is . . . . . This was a huge hit for all of my friends, but I’m sad to report it missed the mark a bit – okay a lot – for me. For as much of a fan I am of family dysfunction I should have been falling all over myself. And I was …. right up to the point where I got my hands on a copy. At first I placed the blame on our air conditioning shooting craps in an Autumn that refuses to not be 90+ outside every day. So I put it aside and waited until the repairman worked his magic and I was no longer a fat, sweaty, whiny baby. But unfortunately I still didn’t connect. The pacing here was slooooooooow and could have easily been dropped by 100 pages. And for as much time as I had to spend with each of the characters i felt like I really didn’t get to know them beyond their flaws and medical ailments. I predicted the first big reveal nearly immediately because …. well, duh and had to wait what seemed like an eternity for confirmation my guess was correct. Moriarity did perform her typical magic trip of weaving together random nuggets dropped throughout the story into an ending that tied everything up in a big bow. That should have redeemed some of my grumblings, but still - soooooooo many pages getting to the good stuff and then 50+ more at the end rather than just wrapping things up. Whyyyyyyy? Not to mention those “random nuggets” I’m a fan of? Turns out I’m not so much of a fan when I’m beaten over the head with reminders about them over and over again. Kind of takes the fun out of the big reveal when you’re just waiting for that magnet to come back into play somewhere. And pleeeeeeaaaaase stop with all new books containing some sort of “shoutout” to the pandemic. Most of us read to escape the real world so this shit has already gotten old. Moriarty’s books have worked great as limited run series adaptations. They are full of quality characters and developments and action that keeps you tuning in each week. There’s zero chance this could keep my attention for more than a two hour film, if that, and this is one time where the Lifetime channel quality plot wasn’t enough to satisfy me : ( 2.5 Stars

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