Book Review – Apples Never Fall – Full of Intrigue
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – Apples Never Fall
My second Australian author after Candice Fox and I’m torn between the two, to decide who’s better! But then why even try? Being readers, we have the luxury the having multiple most-loved authors, even within the same genre (yes, I’m aware of the multiple most oxymoron part!). Though I’m late to the train of Liane Moriarty fans, I’m here now to stay! This novel digs deep into the troubled and normal psyche of average families, of decisions taken out of love or longing and then having to justify or regret the same years later. What you will read here, in this book, is neither unique nor strange but you will identify with all the characters.
Stan and Joy Delaney are an elderly couple who, in their early seventies and late sixties, have just begun their retirement, after a successful joint career as businessfolk. Their entire family – Stan, Joy, their four children Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke have all been Tennis enthusiasts, with varying degrees of success. Stan and Joy ran a Tennis Coaching Academy for thirty years before selling that business and retiring. Though they did not have spectacular sporting careers (neither did any of their children, for that matter), they all loved the sport, and Stan and Joy made a living, coaching the game to a multitude of aspirants, over the years.
Retirement does not sit well with the senior Delaneys – holidaying, relaxing, and reading are no match for their hitherto breathlessly active lives. They seek something fulfilling – their children lead distorted lives, in disturbed relationships, with physical ailments and unfulfilled dreams, and thoughts of having grandchildren someday is the only thing that keeps them going, particularly Joy. In the middle of this stagnant stalemate, out pops an unexpected incident. On a rainy night, a stranger knocks on their door, hurt and bleeding. 20 something-year-old Savannah, is running away from an abusive relationship and has landed at their door at random, looking for help. Stan and Joy take her in, and a mysterious relationship begins to form.
They know nothing about her but Joy’s maternal instincts take over and through Stan’s grumpy reluctance, a bond start to form between the three of them. Their children in their own individual ways, warn them of the dangers of taking a stranger under their wings, but Joy is defiant and Stan slowly comes around as Savannah slowly works her way into their hearts and lives. She cooks for them, cares for their house and once when Joy falls ill and has to be hospitalised, she takes care of her better than her own children would. Their children start digging into Savannah’s background and find some inconsistencies but Joy won’t be moved. And then, on 14th February, 2020 Joy vanishes….
Savannah had left by then, and all Joy left behind was a cryptic text to all her children and her mobile phone. There’s no word from her since and the police get involved. Weeks pass by and there is no trace of Joy and the police start suspecting Stan of having murdered her. Savannah’s also not to be found but the Delaney children are all hiding something from the police. As they start getting deeper into the lives of the Delaney’s, skeletons start popping out, relationships are strained, old wounds reopened but Joy remains missing with nary a clue as to her whereabouts. Doubts and suspicions creep in and the chances of Joy returning diminish with every passing day…
Conclusion – Book Review of Apples Never Fall
Overall, the book is brilliantly written, but I felt that two critical pieces of information the police should have found out are not hinted at, but well, they do add to the drama. The character sketches of each person is very well done, with their insecurities, failings, and actions being so typical of today’s society. Each line is so identifiable, as we have all been through some variance of it at some points of our lives. Our loves, hatreds, envies, compromises, and a sense of belonging are what makes our relationships work or fail (particularly in a family), depending on which element takes precedence. It makes you think, and if it also makes you rectify, that will be an achievement!
*I hope you have enjoyed reading this book review as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *