Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty

Contemporary Fiction 5*'s
Contemporary Fiction

I couldn’t resist another book by Liane Moriarty after having really enjoyed the three I’ve read previously and in The Last Anniversary we are introduced to the most colourful array of characters, each distinctive and ranging in ages from babies to the eldest resident of Scribbly Gum who is ninety. Now I don’t know about you but the name of the island, derived from the name of a native tree, meant this book already deserved a read without a seventy year old mystery of an abandoned baby to spice things up.

All Liane Moriarty’s books have been very different but what they all have in common is superb writing which draws on everyday observations of life at its best and bleakest. In this readable tale we have the enduring ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ which has put the island of Scribbly Gum on the map, bringing tourists to their guided tour with good food to sweeten the suspected horror which occurred all those years before and every year on the anniversary of the day when Connie and Rose found the abandoned child they named Enigma, a special evening is held with entertainment and food, the food features quite largely in this book so it is probably a good idea to have some on hand to avoid saliva spotting the pages/screen.

With a large family Enigma has two daughters, three grandchildren as well as a couple of great-grandchildren you would have thought that Connie would have left her house to one of them when she died, but she didn’t, instead she chose to leave it to Sophie Honeywell a former girlfriend of Thomas, who is flighty and perhaps a little shallow and has a propensity for blushing, all quite unlike a stereotypical woman approaching her forties. In anything but the most expert of hands this character would be irritating but I didn’t get very far through the book before I was rooting for Sophie, hoping desperately that the family would welcome her and that she wouldn’t do anything stupid.

Sophie’s girlfriends become quite deranged. There is a frenzied debate. It’s brains versus brawn! But solicitors can be brawny! Gardeners can be brainy! Aunt Connie was clearly referring to the gorgeous gardener. Aunt Connie’s opinion is no longer relevant. She must not sleep with either of them. She must definitely sleep with both of them…..
Sophie’s girlfriends are starting to annoy her, just a bit.

Although on the surface this is a lighter book than The Husband’s Secret or Little Lies, there are plenty of issues explored, many to do with parenting, and there are plenty of examples right across the spectrum from Sophie who was adored from the moment she was born, to Grace who tells a truly jaw-dropping tale of her childhood and of course we have Enigma who was too young to remember her parents and instead had the substitute two teenagers to mother to her while they found their way in the world.

Callum still hasn’t turned the television back up. ‘I can’t believe you’ve never told me this’
‘It’s not that interesting. I don’t know how your parents disciplined you.’
My father roared at me and my mother chased me round the house brandishing whatever she happened to have in her hand…..’

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.

He still remembers how he felt watching her cry her heart out at her dad’s funeral. Margie was always such a Daddy’s Girl and it made him want to punch something because there was nothing he could bloody well do to fix it for her.

At times I laughed especially as Sophie stored up funny anecdotes for her friends, and at other times I found I had a serious lump in my throat as the emotion all got too much for me!

If you haven’t read any of this author’s books which in my opinion are all worth five stars here are my reviews:

The Husband’s Secret
What Alice Forgot
Little Lies

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (December 3)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Dead Souls by Elsebeth Egholm which is billed for fans of Jussi Adler-Olsen and Camilla Lackberg.

Dead Souls


On All Hallows’ Eve, ex-convict Peter Boutrup is visiting his best friend’s grave when her estranged mother appears. Her son, Magnus, has disappeared, and she begs Peter to look for him.
The next day a young nun is pulled out of the moat at the convent in Djursland. She has been garrotted and Peter, who works there as a carpenter, was the last person to see her alive. Meanwhile, diver Kir Røjel finds an old box resting on the seabed. Inside are human bones. They are sixty years old, but the victim had also been garrotted.
While Peter is looking for Magnus, Detective Mark Bille Hansen is assigned to the case. He is determined to link the bones in the box with the girl in the moat – but the hunt for the truth leads both he and Peter down a path so dark, they fear they may never return. Bookbridgr

I recently finished reading The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan a historical novel set in a manor house with one strand at the very end of the nineteenth century and another in the early thirties.

My review will follow shortly

The Girl in the Photograph

Next I plan to read The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

The Last Anniversary

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. Goodreads

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (November 7)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

This week I have been approved by the publishers, Penguin Plume,The Perfect Mother by Nina Darnton This sounds really good with parallels to the Amanda Knox trial in Italy.

The Perfect Mother


When an American exchange student is accused of murder, her mother will stop at nothing to save her.
A midnight phone call shatters Jennifer Lewis’s carefully orchestrated life. Her daughter, Emma, who’s studying abroad in Spain, has been arrested after the brutal murder of another student. Jennifer rushes to her side, certain the arrest is a terrible mistake and determined to do whatever is necessary to bring Emma home. But as she begins to investigate the crime, she starts to wonder whether she ever really knew her daughter. The police charge Emma, and the press leaps on the story, exaggerating every sordid detail. One by one, Emma’s defense team, her father, and finally even Jennifer begin to have doubts.
A novel of harrowing emotional suspense, The Perfect Mother probes the dark side of parenthood and the complicated bond between mothers and daughters. NetGalley

I have bought a copy of The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty because I’ve been poorly and my will-power is significantly weakened, but really having loved all three previous reads (The Husband’s Secret, What Alice Forgot & Little Lies) by this author I think this one will be a winner!

The Last Anniversary


Seventy-three years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby in the only other house on their little island, Scribbly Gum. And since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought them fame and fortune.
But now, with Connie dead and newcomer Sophie Honeywell inheriting her home, and everyone around them tirelessly trying to solve the mystery, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer they can cover up the truth behind the mystery that has sustained their community for four generations? And what other secrets might be revealed? Goodreads

I’ve been longing for a copy of You by Caroline Kepnes for some time but referencing the poor will-power above I also have a copy of this one too.



When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams.
Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect façade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .
A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve read before. Goodreads

and finally I have a copy of The Art of the English Murder – From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock by Lucy Worsley on the way. This book will sit beside my copy of A Very British Murder by the same author.

The Art of the English Murder


Murder a dark, shameful deed, the last resort of the desperate or a vile tool of the greedy. And a very strange, very English obsession. But where did this fixation develop? And what does it tell us about ourselves? In The Art of the English Murder, Lucy Worsley explores this phenomenon in forensic detail, revisiting notorious crimes like the Ratcliff Highway Murders, which caused a nationwide panic in the early nineteenth century, and the case of Frederick and Maria Manning, the suburban couple who were hanged after killing Maria s lover and burying him under their kitchen floor. Our fascination with crimes like these became a form of national entertainment, inspiring novels and plays, prose and paintings, poetry and true-crime journalism. At a point during the birth of modern England, murder entered our national psyche, and it s been a part of us ever since. The Art of the English Murder is a unique exploration of the art of crime and a riveting investigation into the English criminal soul by one of our finest historians.” Goodreads

What have you found to read this week? Please share.