Apples Never Fall

Macmillan Audio. Sept. 2021. 18:03 hrs. ISBN 9781250810700. $32.99. F
Set in Sydney, Australia, Moriarty’s (Nine Perfect Strangers) latest novel traces the mysterious vanishing of 69-year-old Joy Delaney. Joy and her husband Stan have a loving marriage, a well-deserved retirement, and four remarkable children, but Joy’s disappearance uncovers a stash of secrets and betrayals under the family’s shiny veneer. Over the course of a nonlinear timeline that creates an increasingly unsettling picture, the Delaneys’ backstories and secrets are revealed: failed relationships; the family’s fierce competitiveness; and most intriguing of all, a stranger named Savannah, whose relationship with the Delaneys is not as innocent as it first seems. Narrator Caroline Lee brings her full talents to bear here; with careful characterizations and responsive pacing, she indicates the smallest but most telling emotions and nuances. Listeners will feel the novel’s unspoken emotional undercurrents of heartbreaking need, barely restrained fury, and miserable insecurity.
VERDICT Moriarty’s engrossing novel is made all the more compelling by Lee’s skillful narration. Highly recommended for all collections.
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