Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty continues her trend of writing well thought out plots, with unexpected twists and turns as well as relatable characters. Like many of her stories, Moriarty begins in the present but flashes back to the past which eventually explains the present conundrum.
This story is about Joy and Stan Delaney who were derailed from their own tennis careers and so began a very successful tennis school instead. They have recently retired. Their four adult children all showed promise as junior tennis players but none of them progressed to a tennis career. In fact, they barely even play tennis socially anymore. Joy is hoping for grandchildren but so far none have eventuated.
The story begins with the dilemma of whether to report Joy to the police as missing. She has been gone for a week after sending a garbled text message to her children saying she was going “off-grid” for a little while. They also wonder if their mother’s disappearance is connected to the strange house guest who visited last year.
I especially liked the way Liane Moriarty was able to describe the clash of cultures through this story. Joy grew up in an era where a woman’s domestic contribution wasn’t highly valued. Her children have grown up with vastly different expectations. Joy’s husband and children’s lack of understanding in this area created much of the tension in the story.
My only complaint about the book is the unnecessary bad language, often added as superfluous adjectives. They added nothing to the characterisation and most of these words could have been deleted without noticing their absence.
However, overall it’s a great story.
More reviews of this book can be found on Goodreads.