Tag Archives: Relationships

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: The Paper Palace

The Paper Palace

The Paper Palace
By Miranda Cowley Heller
Riverhead Books, 9780593329825, July 6, 2021, 400pp.

The Short of It:

Layered and rich. This story grabs you and holds you.

The Rest of It:

Elle returns with her family to The Paper Palace. It’s the summer home of her youth that she has visited every summer of her life, but this particular summer morning, she wakes to the fact that the night before, after a few drinks and memories from her youth take hold, she hooked up with her childhood friend Jonas,  while her family, innocently, gathered in another room.

Elle is happily married to Peter. Truly. He is funny, and loving, and dependable and a good father to their children but the bond that she has with Jonas goes way back, way back to earlier summers where they both shared a secret that ultimately affected Elle’s entire life. The story is told in the past and present, alternating between young Elle and married Elle and as the secret comes to light, things get tense. How can you right a wrong so many years later?

I didn’t know anything about this story when I picked it up. It was a Reese Book Club pick and I went in blind. I have had a lot of luck with her picks. The Paper Palace was no exception except, don’t let that pastel cover fool you. It opened in a kind of smutty way, for lack of a better word and then got pretty gritty. You should know, there are triggers in this story for anyone who suffered from sexual abuse in the past.

That said, this story held me captive. I thought I’d read a chapter here and there but I blew through it in a day. It’s complex. The characters are imperfect but their demons are real. It has secrets and moral dilemmas and gives you a lot to consider. I must say, the mother/daughter dynamics are very well-done here.

I can’t say I loved this book because the subject matter is tough but it’s a very good read and superbly written. Highly recommend.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.