- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (June 24, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060890681
- ISBN-13: 978-0330442787
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,946 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
‘Do you really think we can get away with it?’
‘If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t be suggesting it, would I?’
‘We could go to jail. That’s my third worst fear. First funnel-webs, then childbirth, then jail.’
‘Neither of us is going to jail, you ninny. One day we’ll be sweet little old ladies and we’ll probably forget that it didn’t happen the way we said it did.’
‘I can’t imagine us as sweet little old ladies.’
‘It does seem unlikely.’
In this one chapter you have mystery, danger, humor and friendship. The novel centers around a mysterious (fake) island called Scribbly Gum Island where in 1932, during the depression, a baby is found alone in a house with a kettle boiling on the stove and a marble cake sitting out. The parents of the baby, Alice and Jack Munro, are missing. Then it fast forward to the present day and all the ramifications from this event. Some people benefited nicely, while others suffered.
The author does an amazing job of introducing each character. Although Sophie Honeywell and her love-life or lack there of, is the “main” character. The novel is told in third person omniscient point of view and believe me when I tell you, each character is richly developed.
Subjects include: Postpartum depression, mystery, sex, body issues, murder and vibrators. Hey, how can you go wrong?
This novel is worth reading alone for the inner and outer dialogue that goes on with Sophie. Which is absolutely hysterical. Not to mention Margie and her two men named Ron which again, is priceless.
Will the great mystery be solved? Will Sophie find true love that her Aunt Connie predicted her once she moves into the house where it all began? You’ll just have read it to find out.
Published first in 2005 & again in 2014, this is a steal for only $1.99 on kindle. Oh, and add the audio immersion reading to hear the actors speak with Australian accents.
Liane Moriarty doesn't just bring a variety of characters to life in order to spice up her novels. She seeps into the subconscious layers of thought and emotion and motive for every character and spits them out with such realness that you forget it's all fictional. She can bring to life an upstanding citizen with a horrible 20-year secret burning inside of him, a beautiful woman, adored by her husband and mother to a gorgeous baby and yet completely suicidal, a detached husband who suddenly fears that his wife may be cheating on him (she isn't), a bereaving mother who disappears into her grief and becomes obsessed with finding and killing the murderer of her child, an irritable teenager, a woman who has lost a decade of her memory and so on. All I can say is that when you start a Moriarty novel, you will not be let down. All of her novels have a great sense of humor, a lightness of heart, a shade of eccentricity and a deep layer of truth. Laughing and crying are guaranteed. Although, with The Last Anniversary, it was mostly a lot of chuckles and hardly any tears, at least for me.
Having said all that, The Last Anniversary isn't my favorite novel by her because her later novels are so much more complex and developed and intriguing. You can feel the progression of a great artist in the making. I started with her latest work and went backward. Still, she's pretty awesome.
Possible Spoiler Warning:
I loved Sophie Honeywell's character. She reminded me of a friend with whom my friendship sadly fell apart, and I'm actually thinking about calling her. Sophie is put in a delicate situation when she inherits a HOUSE in an island from her ex-boyfriend's great aunt, someone she had met only a handful of times. We follow Sophie, who can be described best as the nicest, politest, kindest little charming creature you could imagine, as she moves into Aunt Connie's house and finds herself tangled up with the Munro Baby Mystery. The plot is clever. Very clever. The ending is well-done, and the novel got better and better as I kept reading.
As I write this, I'm sitting in the Hong Kong airport lounge, and my next flight is to Sydney, where most of Moriarty's novels are based, including the novelist herself. What fun it would be to make one of her events. I never thought I'd be drawn to a female Australian contemporary novelist, and this experience has shown me that we must be open to reading new genres, new authors, new styles of writing, and let our heart and mind - rather than reviewers or critiques - decide after the fact how we really feel about the work. As for how I feel about Liane Moriarty, she's now ranking in my top most five favorite writers.