The Last Anniversary
By, Liane Moriarty
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Wow, this book was fabulous!!! I would give it more than 5 stars if I could. Ah, I loved everything about this story!
Sophie’s life changes when she finds out the deceased aunt of her ex-boyfriend, Thomas, has left her a house. This isn’t just any house, though. This is a house on Scribbly Gum Island, home of the famous Monroe Mystery. Thomas’s Aunt Connie and her sister, Rose were the ones who found the famous Monroe baby, Thomas’s grandmother. Grace and Connie were teenage girls when they went to have tea with their neighbors, the Monroes, and found them missing, with the kettle boiling and the marble cake ready to be iced. Their baby was crying in the crib and the girls took her and raised her as their own.
The Monroe house has been kept intact and the island residents (all part of the same family) give paid tours. When Sophie moves onto the island, she is expected to be part of this tradition and becomes something of an unofficial family member. This isn’t just Sophie’s story, though. Veronica, granddaughter of the Monroe baby, wants to uncover the mystery once and for all. Grace, another granddaughter, finds that she isn’t reacting to motherhood in the way she expected and concocts a plan. Aunt Rose is learning how to live without her sister’s constant oversight and counsel. Marge (Veronica’s mother) is dealing with a lot of self-esteem issues due to being overweight and the way her husband treats her.
This book had such fascinating characters with fascinating stories! I loved Sophie. Sophie wants to get married and have children, but thinks she’s running out of time. She wonders if she made a mistake by breaking up with Thomas, but she was missing the passion in their relationship. Sophie is beautiful and kind. She is also human. She deals with extreme, uncontrollable blushing. She has selfish thoughts that she tries so hard to fight. You would normally hate Sophie due to jealousy, but she’s too darn sweet and human to hate.
I loved Grace, as well. Poor Grace broke my heart and I wished I could go to her house and help her and talk to her. I think the problems she dealt with made her so very relatable. Her childhood memories played a role in the story as well. I love that this is a family who seems to be doing so well- owns their own island, has a profitable family business- but every member has a lot going on underneath the surface.
This book ended beautifully on SO MANY LEVELS. Everything about the ending was just perfect, but not predictable, and not happily-ever-after. This book was incredibly well-written. The characters were complex, flawed, relatable, and likeable. Their development was really deep. I enjoyed the story so much even though it was a 12 hour audiobook, I listened to the whole thing in about 3 days. I had my headphones in constantly because I was so interested in the mystery and the characters’ stories. This book was part chick lit/women’s fiction and part mystery/suspense. It had everything you could ever want in a story. I can’t say enough good things about this beautiful book!!