Stamford Advocate

Liane Moriarty hits an ace with ‘Apples Never Fall’


“Apples Never Fall,” by Liane Moriarty (Henry Holt and Company)

Who knew there were so many tennis metaphors for life? Australian novelist Liane Moriarty shares them all and probably creates a few of her own in “Apples Never Fall.”

Meet the Delaneys, who are sure to be an A-List ensemble cast in the years ahead: There’s Stan, stoic patriarch and erstwhile tennis coach, his wife, Joy, his doubles partner on the court and in life, who managed the family tennis academy for years and is now trying to “retire with grace” and longing for grandchild­ren. They have four adult children — Troy, Brooke, Logan and Amy — whose childhoods were dominated by the sport that paid all the family’s bills, but who now earn a living outside tennis.

Moriarty goes deep into each characters’ head as we learn all about their lives and relationsh­ips. Moriarty is very good at constructi­ng plot, dribbling out details that resurface chapters later to create “aha” moments.

But what makes “Apples Never Fall” a real pleasure to read, and elevates it a little above Moriarty’s two most recent bestseller­s and TV hits, “Big Little Lies” and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” are the insights into the complexity of family relationsh­ips.

By the end of the novel, of course, we all know. It’s a trip well worth taking on the page, before it shows up on a streaming service near you.

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