Book Review · Books

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis

“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.”

-Synopsis from Goodreads

Review

*light spoilers ahead*

The Last Anniversary was the fourth Liane Moriarty book I read this year. I didn’t plan that, but I’m very aware that I now only have two (or three?) books of hers left before I’ve read them all!

This book takes place primarily on Scribbly Gum Island, off the coast of Sydney, Australia. It is incredibly quaint and cute, making it the perfect place for family histories and secrets to be buried for years – seventy-three years, to be precise. Sophie gets pulled into it all when Aunt Connie dies and leaves her house to Sophie, which confuses and even angers some of the family. Aunt Connie leaves a note for Sophie that convinces her to accept the house, and to move there, all of which happens in the span of a few weeks.

Sophie is starstruck being around the family who are the center of the Munro Baby Mystery that has fascinated Sophie for years. The unsolved mystery has been speculated about for decades and now Sophie may be on the cusp of learning the truth of what really happened.

This, more than the relationships and each character’s individual stories, is probably what kept me reading if I’m going to be honest. I had no guesses as to what the truth of the mystery could be and I wanted to find out! The story culminates on the anniversary of the Munro Baby being discovered, during which a festival is held on the island, but this year some of the family have their own idea for how to celebrate now that Aunt Connie is gone.

The family relationships were a little hard to keep track of at first but eventually the characters all have their own dialogue and stories and they become easier to differentiate. I didn’t exactly love any of them, but I didn’t dislike them either (except for Grace and Ron!) to the point that I didn’t want to read about them. All of their stories came together in a unique way and Sophie is connected to them in more ways than she realizes.

There is more than one mystery solved at the end of this book, and the ending was extremely satisfying. This wasn’t my favorite of Liane Moriarty’s books but I think fans of hers will enjoy it either way because she has such a particular way of creating realistic and memorable characters. I really enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting story, although for the best of Liane Moriarty I would recommend The Husband’s Secret or Truly, Madly, Guilty which I loved.

Goodreads rating: Four stars

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