The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Published: 24th June 2014 (print)/3rd December, 2014 (audio) Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Harper Perennial /Bolinda Audio
Pages: 388/1 Disc (14 hours)
Narrator: Caroline Lee
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island — home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around — and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

As I was listening to this I forgot that it was a Liane Moriarty book. Which is good…or bad. I don’t know. Weird? Not important? Either way it doesn’t have the Big Mystery feel of the other books, I thought maybe for a moment there was going to be one but that didn’t eventuate.

There is a mystery, don’t get me wrong, but it never felt like it was going to be solved, or needed to be revealed the way other Moriarty books have. All other books I’ve read of hers have had the Big Mystery; normally this is what the Event that is constantly being referenced to is. The books countdown and use flashbacks to what it is that’s happened until we’re finally told. This wasn’t the case with The Last Anniversary.

I didn’t like this any more or less because of that. I enjoyed it, it was well told, and I liked the little mystery it had. When the reveal comes it’s possible it was more obvious to some people, I didn’t figure it out and I’m not disappointed about that. I liked having it revealed to me, and I liked seeing it explained later as the pieces all fit together.

Honestly, even if it was never explained I wouldn’t have minded. It didn’t feel like it needed to be solved to make the story work, or to make it interesting, I enjoyed the story regardless. I liked Sophie’s part, the stories of each character, they were interesting and had intrigue and drama on their own. If I never found out what happened it didn’t affect the story whatsoever. Unlike other books where the veiled references about Something have built anticipation. This one was a nice story with a mystery, yes, but not one that needed or really revolved around the story as much as other Moriarty books have.

I loved all the characters in this. They were flawed and complicated, they had secrets and they had complicated lives. Everything in this story comes from, or circles back to the death of aunt Connie. Her death leaves people lost, confused, it stirs up the past and her actions have consequences long after she’s gone. It felt like a family story, there are jokes and warm feelings that sisters and family bring, and Moriarty brings to life this small island community where this family have basically reigned for decades.

Caroline Lee did a wonderful job narrating, she has done Moriarty’s previous audiobooks. There was even a bit of extra fun in there when she used the same accent for a background character that she’d used in a previous book and I had a second where I thought a character from an entirely different book had shown up. Was not the case.

It’s not all little mysteries; Moriarty also covers important topics like poverty, family commitment, and post-natal depression. These are the storylines that make the book interesting, not the mystery, though that is fun in itself. The new girl in a small community and fitting into a family that has such deep history is also a great story and one Moriarty pulls off successfully.

You can purchase The Last Anniversary via the following

Publisher | Booktopia

Amazon | Amazon Aust

Book Depository | A&R Bookworld

Fishpond | QBD

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: March & April Round-Up: General Fiction | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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