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The Last Anniversary: A Novel Paperback – May 30, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Moriarty (Three Wishes) presents a stunner several shades darker than typical chick lit, about a family and the outsider who inherits a house on Scribbly Gum, their (fictional) Australian island and a popular tourist destination. Sophie Honeywell hasn't heard from ex-boyfriend Thomas Gordon since she broke his heart three years ago. He's since married and fathered a child, while Sophie remains single, pining for a baby. When Thomas's Aunt Connie leaves her house on Scribbly Gum Island to Sophie, the family is largely nonplussed—but then, they're used to mysteries. The famous 1932 discovery of baby Enigma by Connie and her sister, Rose Doughty, led to the successful "Munro Baby Mystery" tour that kept the sisters afloat for years. Among the large, eccentric family, Sophie starts a new life, befriending Thomas's cousin Grace, who is suffering through postpartum depression; finding a dangerous mutual attraction with Grace's husband, Callum; and dealing with bitter, intense Veronika, Thomas's sister, who covets Connie's house. Moriarty expertly handles a large cast and their relationships, keeping everyone guessing as the true story of baby Enigma—and its role in Sophie's strange inheritance—is slowly revealed. Moriarty's prose turns from funny through poignant to frightening in an artful snap. (June)
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From Booklist

Three years after Sophie Honeywell dumped Thomas Gordon right before he planned to propose, Sophie is bequeathed the house of his widowed aunt Connie on tiny Scribbly Island, site of the Munro baby mystery, just off the coast of Sydney. Thomas is the grandson of that baby, named Enigma after she was found in 1932 by sisters Connie and Rose Doughty, who raised her after her parents abruptly disappeared and turned the mystery into a profitable tourist attraction. Sophie, who at 39 hears the ticking of her biological clock getting louder, is delighted with the house, despite some family opposition to her inheriting it, and intrigued by Connie's matchmaking from beyond the grave. Moriarty has created a cast of appealing characters that she deftly juggles through various plot threads, notably Sophie's languishing love life and the mystery itself, previously revealed only to family members when they turned 40, ultimately revealed to all. With its unhappy childhoods, postpartum depression, and planned suicide, this is less frothy than the author's chick-lit debut Three Wishes (2004) but just as brisk and witty. Michele Leber
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330442783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060890681
  • ASIN: 0060890681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (880 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

This was a fun book to read.
N. Bass
A great story with interesting characters and surprise ending.
Amazon Customer
Great story, great characters, loved it.
Anne D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 95 people found the following review helpful By J. Lee on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once I read 'What Alice Forgot', I immediately purchased this, as well as every book by Ms. Moriarty. Her character development, her humor, her story-telling skills are the best I have come across in a very long time. I consumed each book, one right after the other, dreading reaching the end, yet unable to stop. I highly recommend this book and this author.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By jesharris on September 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read THE LAST ANNIVERSARY before reading Liane Moriarty's first novel, THREE WISHES, and it got me completely hooked on her writing. Some authors seem to write basically the same genre book over and over again, but Liane Moriarty is not one of them. This novel is quite different from THREE WISHES: a bit more complex, more of a mystery story, and with some darker edges. The subplot in LAST ANNIVERSARY about Grace's post-partum depression quite literally gave me chills. And I didn't see the Munro Baby Mystery's resolution coming, which is a pleasant surprise when you have read as many too-predictable mysteries as I have. I loved the uniquely Australian setting and became completely absorbed in this story, which took me right into the lives of everyone connected to Scribbly Gum Island. If you have not yet discovered Liane Moriarty, don't wait: She's the best thing to come from Australia since Yellow Tail wines!
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Bearette24 VINE VOICE on June 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This was a great book, which kept me up till 2:40 am! I enjoyed Liane Moriarty's previous book, Three Wishes, but this was so much better...a fully realized family drama. It's the story of the Doughty family, who live on the secluded Scribbly Gum Island off the coast of Australia (near Sydney), and the Munro Baby Mystery. In 1932, a baby was found in a kitchen with a cake cooling on the counter and some blood on the floor. Two sisters, Connie and Rose, decide to raise the baby, and the mystery is never solved. Not publicly, anyway.

Another main character is Sophie, who dated one of the Doughty men for a time. When Connie dies near the beginning of the novel, she leaves her house on Scribbly Gum Island to Sophie, who always secretly coveted it, and Sophie becomes a part of the family.

All the characters were fascinating - dreamy Rose; snappy, determined Connie; sweet, lovable Sophie; and the devastatingly attractive Callum. I did think the ending was a little unfair for Sophie, but it was a really engaging read. Moriarty has a lot of great insights into human nature and the human condition.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lisa L. on October 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading "Husband's Secret." I thought that book was wonderful, so I had high expectations for this novel. Sadly I was disappointed. I think the most aggravating thing about it was the rapid switching between multiple characters' points of view (without identification at times.) It was disorienting at times. Additionally, I didn't find several of the story lines very compelling. I'd recommend one if Moriarity's other works instead.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Andrea on September 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To give this book credit, once I got rolling reading it, I wanted to read more. It was definitely a page-turner.

There were just too many characters to keep track of. Who was related to who and how? I eventually sorted it all out, but had to power through the beginning to get there. Each chapter ended with some sort of cryptic message that you knew you would later learn more about. With so many characters it became confusing after a while, and in the end I wondered if all my questions were answered. It was VERY well written, but the stories didn't flow and felt so choppy.

Every single outcome of each of the characters was depressing. Not one happy ending, in my opinion. I know sometimes that is reality, however, I was hoping for so much, and was just let down in the end.

***WARNING SPOILER ALERT***
Grace: denied and never resolved her issues with PPD. While yes, she did grow to love her son, her issues went way beyond that, and needed to be treated with medication.

Sophie: never found love and had to become impregnated by a gay man...kind of sad.

Channum: ended up with Grace. It's almost like there was no consequence to Grace's little plan of trying to get him and Sophie together. She was ungrateful and sick and I feel like she should have lost him in the end. Plus, Sophie deserved him.

Rose: the most disappointing of all. She is an old woman and never in her life experienced romantic love? I was hoping, when we found out that she is Enigma's mother, that it was the result of some sort of romantic fling, or relationship she had as a teen. NOT from a rape. This entire family was built from the ugliest of situations.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Miss Mary on December 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was good except it took so long to really get me engaged... I liked the Husband's Secret much better
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina Rickman on March 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think Liane Moriarty is a great author and I love her other books, but I was disappointed by this one. I still enjoyed reading it (hence the 3 stars), but it didn't captivate me the way her other books did.

The characters in this story lacked dimension and there were too many of them! I usually enjoy stories that are told from multiple points-of-view, but there were entirely too many characters in this story to keep track of. I actually had to draw a family tree of the characters so that I could keep them straight.

Because there were so many of them, none of them seemed all that interesting or sympathetic and I didn't really care about their fate, with the exception of one or two. In addition to the lack of multi-dimensional characters, the mystery isn't much of a mystery... it's pretty obvious from the beginning that the sisters had more to do with the disappearances than they let on, and the author alludes to this early on. The story behind the disappearance actually ends up being quite interesting, but you don't read about until the last few pages. The majority of the book is spent describing random events in a group of irritating characters' lives.

I still think LM is a great author, and her style of writing is easy and entertaining to read, so I don't regret buying this book. I didn't think her writing was quite as sharp in this book as in her others, but there were still enough moments where her wit and insight shone through to make it an enjoyable read.

In conclusion:
-If you LOVE Liane Moriarty and have read all her other books, go ahead and read this one because it's not a bad way to pass a few afternoons.
-If you were unsure about her other books, don't bother with this one. You'll be upset you wasted your money so move on to a different author!
-If you have never read one of her books, I highly suggest you do, but don't start with this one because it's by far the weakest.
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