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The Last Anniversary: A Novel Paperback – May 30, 2006
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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
-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.
I deducted a star because I felt as though the denouement played out rather quickly, and tied up loose ends unnecessarily fast. --This of course can also be seen as complimentary, since it presumes that I wanted to continue to read about these intriguingly weird people she has created. Yup, I did.
Thirty nine year old Sophie Honeywell is completely likeable from the beginning of the book until the end. Unfortunately, Sophie is not getting any younger. Her biological clock is tick, tick ticking away. Any one in her shoes could relate. Sophie would love to find the right guy, settle down and have children. But she has no such luck.
Unexpectedly an ex boyfriend’s aunt dies and leaves Sophie a charming house on Scribbly Gum Island. Although Sophie genuinely admired the house when she met Aunt Connie, they hardly knew each other … so this windfall has come completely out of the blue.
From this point on Sophie meets and melds with the most eccentric cast of characters, giving us many laughs and much to think about. In addition, we learn about Scribbly Gum Island’s claim to fame “The Mystery of the Munro Baby”. Now we have a mystery to solve: How did it come to be; and will Sophie’s wishes come true? To find out, you must read this refreshing novel for a good chuckle and lots of fun.
From this point on Sophie meets and melds with the most eccentric cast of characters, giving us many laughs and much to think about. In addition, we learn about Scribbly Gum Island’s claim to fame “The Mystery of the Munro Baby”. Now we have a mystery to solve. And will Sophie’s wishes come true? You must read this refreshing novel for a good chuckle and lots of fun.