My Rating ~ Three and a half Stars
RELEASE DATE: 14 September 2021
Publisher: Henry Holt
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.
Thank you so much to Henry Holt for providing me with a copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review!
Joy and Stan Delaney have had a family filled with children and tennis. The children are all grown (much to Joy’s dismay there are no grandchildren yet) and their tennis playing days became tennis trainer days a long time ago. Now supposedly enjoying their retirement, Joy in particular feels her nest is even emptier than before. When a stranger knocks on their door one night, running from her abusive boyfriend, the Delaney’s take her in, despite the protests of their own children. Savannah cooks every meal and Joy is starting to hope she’ll never leave. But then, Joy goes missing.
As the story unfolds back and forwards in time, with the current day police investigation and flashbacks to the time before Joy disappeared, with no more than a cryptic text message to her children, the family is divided. The police attention is focused squarely on Stan as their prime suspect. Some of the family believe there’s no way Stan could have hurt their mother, some are not so sure. We are given several points of view, from Joy, to Stan, to each of their individual children and the police, throughout the book, which made for interesting reading and I enjoyed putting it all together. The ending was a little meh for me. It was kind of a cool twist, but I expected more to be honest. This was one of those books that took me a long time to read, because although there was nothing inherently wrong with it, the story was fine, it just didn’t grab me like I expected a Liane Moriarty book to. I wasn’t quite invested enough in Joy’s disappearance and found some of the ‘motives’ behind main plot points a bit odd and overblown.
Apples Never Fall is a fun, light read and is the sort of book I’d take on holiday, knowing I’d like to know what was unfolding, but I’d find it easy to put down and pick back up again when I had time.
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