The Last Anniversary, Review: Liane Moriarty’s cosy mystery
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty is a dramatic yet delightful, heartfelt cosy mystery for women wanting to escape the rat race. Read my full review.
The Last Anniversary Synopsis
One abandoned baby. Two sisters with a secret. One chance to rewrite the past.
Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own. Since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island’s annual celebration.
But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago.
How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?
Genre: Romance, Mystery, Romance, Drama, Chicklit
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Delightful. Liane Moriarty’s novel The Last Anniversary is a wonderful blend of chick lit, drama and cosy mystery. The subtitle, ‘sometimes you have to come up with your own fairytale ending’ is the attention grabber and a sentiment that many women will identify with.
Moriarty’s protagonist Sophie Honeywell projects the image of an independent, sophisticated 39 year old career woman who knows and gets what she wants, but deep down she yearns for something more. She secretly hopes for a fairytale ending and is wondering when her white knight is going to show up?
Meanwhile, on a little island called Scribbly Gum, formidable elderly matriarch Connie Thrum is writing her will, and in so doing setting in motion a chain of events that will influence her beloved Doughty clan long after her passing. And what really happened to the parents of the Mystery Munro Baby?
The Last Anniversary is not your typical chick-lit. The cast of characters is eclectic and complex, ranging from newborn babies through to feisty grandmothers and frumpy overweight housewives to sexy single gardeners. The very serious subjects of postpartum depression and sexual identity are handled with respect and understanding.
Different character perspectives
The story is told from many characters perspectives, a stylistic element that promotes a feeling of empathy for each of the characters. Moriarty has created characters that we would all like to have in our lives; they display weaknesses but all are fundamentally good people at heart. It is hard to describe, but a reader gets the impression the author really cares for all of her characters, not just her protagonist, allowing each to grow and develop for her readers. Historical flashbacks also add real depth and heart to the telling of this story.
Despite the sometimes serious subject matter tackled in the novel, it is brimming with funny moments that are sure to make any reader, young or old, smile. Readers are treated to wry banter such as the following from the very first page:
‘Neither of us is going to jail, you ninny. One day we’ll be sweet little old ladies and we’ll probably forget that it didn’t happen the way we said it did.’
‘I can’t imagine us as sweet little old ladies.’
‘It does seem unlikely.’
The Last Anniversary is a delightful and heartfelt pick-me-up for women living in today’s fast-paced world.
BOOK RATING: The Story : 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5
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Related Reading: 11 of Louisa Bennet’s Favourite Cozy Mystery Books & Series
More mystery-laced romantic reads:
The Binder of Lost Stories by Cristina Caboni / Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion / The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth / The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger / The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
Other reviews of The Last Anniversary
“Moriarty presents far too many characters (five generations are accounted for), and none of them are likable. The old ladies are cantankerous and the younger folk are addle-brained. … An overstuffed tale that can’t decide if it’s a mystery or a romance.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Moriarty presents a stunner several shades darker than typical chick-lit… her prose turns from funny through poignant to frightening in an artful snap.” — Publishers Weekly
“It’s funny and touching and mysterious all in one. I laughed out loud several times during the final part as everything started to wrap up. The fact that there was yet another reveal on the last page made me cackle.” — The Bookbag
“This isn’t a book to examine to closely for realism but it is a wonderful tale to lose yourself in with something for everyone, romance and mystery can be a winning combination especially when served with a healthy dollop of truisms.” — Cleopatra Loves Books
Author Information, Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty grew up in Sydney, Australia. Other best-selling novels by Liane Moriarty published internationally include Three Wishes (2004), What Alice Forgot (2010), The Hypnotist’s Love Story (2011), The Husband’s Secret (2013), Big Little Lies (2014) and Truly Madly Guilty (2016). Check out Liane Moriarty’s official website.
This book counts towards my participation in the Cozy Mystery Challenge and my Aussie Author Challenge.