The story is set in Australia and centres around the Delaney family. Thirty years ago, Joy and Stan were moderately successful tennis players but when their children were born they gave up the circuit and switched to running a training academy. While each of their children inherited their talent, none of them were good enough to take it further. The very competitive Troy is now a wealthy trader. Logan, who makes a point not to compete at anything any more, teaches business studies. The youngest, Brooke, forever playing catch-up, has recently opened her own physiotherapy practice. Only Amy remains a free spirit/problem child - depending which parent you ask!
This is one of those stories where if the characters had just sat down and talked through their problems with a family therapist, this would have been a very short, dull book! And if Joy had not vanished without trace at the start of the book, with husband Stan soon touted as the main suspect, all the Delany's simmering and festering tensions would never have rocketed to the surface. As the police begin their investigation, each character is forced to re-examine their past, and how their family relationships - and tennis! - has contributed to how they've shaped their lives.
Apples Never Fall is an incredibly clever, twisty family drama with brilliantly drawn characters that feel very true-to-life. Liane's skill is such that whichever viewpoint I was reading, that person became my favourite character - until the next scene! If the epilogue seems longer than one would expect, keep reading for a jaw-dropping finish! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Apparently there is a TV series on the way. I can't wait!
Apples Never Fall will be published in the UK on 14th September 2021.
Thank you to Liane Moriarty and Michael Joseph (Penguin) for my copy of this book, which I received via NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.