Tag Archives: Families

Review: Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall

Apples Never Fall
By Liane Moriarty
Henry Holt and Co., 9781250220257, September 14, 2021, 480pp.

The Short of It:

There is nothing like a good Moriarty book to come home to.

The Rest of It:

Liane Moriarty became one of my favorite authors during the shutdown. Tensions were high, none of us knew how long it would go on for, and so I needed quick, absorbing reads to take me through the days and Moriarty checked all the boxes. I’ve read nearly all of her books, so when I saw that a new one was coming out, I was pretty thrilled to be offered a review copy.

The four Delaney children are adults now. When they were young, they all shared the spotlight because they were all tennis stars at some point in their childhood. Their parents ran a tennis training academy so to some degree, their parents expected greatness from them, but none of them had the drive to go all the way. But as adults, they still managed to become successful in their own way, just not on the court.

Stan and Joy are mostly happy but after a secret is revealed, one that goes back many years, Joy suddenly goes missing. Besides the random text she sent about going off the grid, her family hasn’t a clue where she’s gone off to. As the days and hours tick by, the Delaneys begin to wonder if she’s even alive. Especially after a detective finds a damning piece of evidence.

The four siblings begin to wonder if their father had it in him to actually harm their mother. Could he? Would he? Half say yes, the other half say no. As the investigation goes on, things become complicated when questions come up about their impromptu house guest, Savannah. She showed up on their doorstep after a fight with her boyfriend and the family immediately took her in. But Savannah’s story has a lot of holes in it and the siblings dig a little on their own to find out more about her and if she could be the reason for their mother’s disappearance.

If you love Moriarty, then you will enjoy Apples Never Fall as well but it’s different from her other books. It takes a little more time to get into the story and it reminded me a lot of Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Joy is kind of annoying. A little quirky but kind of clueless which will frustrate you as the story unfolds. This is the book I took with me on my flight to Missouri and I was noticing the person on my right trying to read over my shoulder. Can you blame her? The book doesn’t come out until 9/14. As a mystery, it did a good job of carrying me along. I wanted to know what happened to Joy and that kept me turning those pages. That said, the ending felt very tacked on. When you read it, you’ll see what I mean. Still…

Recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: A Good Neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood

A Good Neighborhood
By Therese Anne Fowler
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250237279, March 10, 2020, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Absolutely riveting.

The Rest of It:

I wanted an excellent book to kick-off 2020 and let me tell you, A Good Neighborhood was just that.

The story is set in a North Carolina neighborhood that has some history behind it but is in the midst of modernization. Old, beautiful homes being razed for sparkly new homes, and the types of residents you’d expect with such flashiness. Two homes, next to each other have their own stories. One, old and beloved by Valerie and her son Xavier. The other, flashy and new, owned by Brad, his wife Julia and their two children, Juniper and Lily.

One black family. One white. Although one has a little more money than the other due to some opportunistic business dealings, the other is well-educated and well-respected in the community. But when Valerie’s grand oak tree begins to show signs  of distress due to all the construction that her neighbor authorized, tensions rise and when Juniper, a white girl, falls in love with Xavier, the tension really ramps up.

This is a timely story of how one thing leads to another and how race can’t help but get in the way. The way the story is told is from an observer’s point of view, so we know early on that something horrible happens to one if these families and although we see hints here and there of how the story will play out, the ending still packs a punch. I finished this book late at night and I was so affected by the storytelling that I had to sit there for many minutes to compose myself.

This is a tragic story and will break your heart in so many ways but it’s so well done. It gives you much to think about. It would make an excellent book club read and I want everyone to read it.

I should note that the book comes out in March, so pre-order it now or request it from your library and once you read it, let me know because you will need to discuss it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.