I’m moving right along on my summer reading list. Admittedly a bit slower than I had planned, but that’s what happens when you get sucked in to binge watching a show on Netflix. Bloodline got me hook, line and sinker. I have managed to read through three of the ten books on my list though, and I’ve recently started the fourth. Today I’m sharing a review of The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty.
First of all, I’m a huge fan of this author! I’ve fell in love with her writing style when I read Big Little Lies a few years ago. While I wouldn’t call The Last Anniversary a page turner, I would recommend throwing this one in your vacation bag. It’s the kind of book you can read in spurts. When vacationing I like a good read, but I don’t typically want to be so sucked in to a story that I miss out on doing fun things with my family. This is one you can read a little at a time without feeling that crazy urge to hurry through your day to get back to reading.
The Last Anniversary is a fictional complex family drama, a mystery with a bit of a dark edge. Once again, in classic Moriarty style the characters were so well developed that they felt more real than fictional. There are quite a few characters in this book, and to be completely honest at one point I had to bust out a pencil and paper to write down a little family tree just to keep everyone straight. Each character’s side story is different and interesting while relating back to the main story. There’s a good deal of background information. So much so that it took about seven to ten chapters for me to really get in to the story, but I’m glad I forged ahead because there was some really good stuff to unpack in this one.
The story explores and examines the effect of societal norms on the choices of women both in the past and present time. It dives into the lies we tell others as well as ourselves in order to fit in to what society considers acceptable. It also touches on the things women are often still afraid to admit. One character’s story in particular struck a chord with me as she quietly struggled with post-partum depression. I found it refreshing that Moriarty weaved this story line seamlessly into the plot as post-partum depression is still a topic that is often glossed over yet is experienced by more than a few. Reading stories that aren’t necessarily about post-partum depression but have a character that deals with it makes this topic feel safe to talk about out loud which is really so important.
While The Last Anniversary isn’t my favorite Moriarty book, I wouldn’t count it out, and I’m glad I read this one. Moriarty has an uncanny ability to pack humor, mystery, danger, romance and family dynamics into one story and have it all work together beautifully. If you’ve never read any of her books I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one, but if you’ve read others by her then add this one to your tbr. It’s a great one that you will enjoy unpacking chapter by chapter. It covers quite a few women’s issues such as rape, body image, post-partum depression, and marital stress making it a great read for book clubbers.
Would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this one! What are you reading this summer?