Monday, September 5, 2022

 Dear Great Book Guru, What an amazing end to Summer - Joe Stroppel singing an array of Broadway songs on a porch in Sea Cliff with an audience of forty enthusiasts seated on lawn chairs and spilling over onto the street! While at the concert, someone mentioned the latest Liane Moriarty novel. I am a big fan of her novels, but reactions to this one were mixed. What are your thoughts?  Missing Summer

Dear Missing Summer, I read APPLES NEVER FALL by Moriarty while on vacation and I did enjoy it.  The novel opens with a mystery: Joy Delaney is missing, having left garbled text messages about going off the grid.  Quickly, suspicion falls on her husband of many years. Stan and Joy recently had sold the Delaney Tennis Academy and were finding retirement difficult.  A few pages in, a stranger knocks at their door – Savannah, a waif like girl with a troubled albeit mysterious past.  The story line shifts back and forth in time as we learn about her and the Delaney siblings - each with grievances going back to childhood.  Tennis was a family obsession, and the sport plays a huge role throughout.  While the book can be viewed as a mystery, it is more a tale of obsessions touching on sexism, male violence, eating disorders, pathological lying, and sibling rivalry. There are clues from the beginning, but the reader is still amazed when all parts of this intense family drama come together, proving the axiom “the apple never fall far from the tree.” Recommended!