The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

I am gradually working my way through Liane Moriarty’s novels.  I’m choosing to read them in order of publication.

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

‘Do you really think we can get away with it?’

Sophie Honeywell is thirty-nine years old, and single.  Four years ago, she broke up with Thomas Gordon on the very day he intended to propose to her.  He married a year later, but Sophie has been single ever since.  And now, Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has inherited his Aunt Connie’s home on Scribbly Gum Island.

Scribbly Gum Island, north of Sydney on the Hawksbury River, has been owned by Thomas’s family ever since his great-grandfather Harry Doughty won it in 1882 – on a cricket bet!  It’s a small private island, home to a famous unsolved mystery.  In 1932, the Munro Baby was found abandoned.  Her parents had disappeared. The baby, named Enigma by Connie and her sister Rose, is now a grandmother.  And the Munro Baby case has proven to be a real tourist drawcard.

Sophie takes up residence on the island, and is soon part of the somewhat eccentric family that lives there.  Thomas’s sister, Veronika isn’t happy about Sophie’s inheritance: what will she do?  And Sophie, attracted to the least available man on the island, trying to make sense of the world in which she finds herself.  Can Sophie find true love?  Will Rose remember to keep the secret now that she’s eighty-eight and becoming forgetful?  And what about Grace?

There are plenty of characters to keep track of in this novel, plenty of twists and turns to negotiate. I felt sorry for Sophie, with her severe blushing, for Margie with her inattentive husband.  I worried about Grace, wondered about the truth behind the Munro Baby case (and was delighted to have worked it out before the end of the novel).  Veronika’s metamorphosis caught my attention, as did the rituals around the Munro Baby case tourist attraction with the ever-present marble cake.

This was Ms Moriarty’s second novel, and while I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as ‘Three Wishes’, it kept me turning the pages as I wondered what would happen next.  Great escapist entertainment.

I have Ms Moriarty’s third novel to read next.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith