Saturday 6 June 2015

The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty

One abandoned baby. Two sisters with a secret. One chance to rewrite the past.
Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island of Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own.
Since then the 'Munro Baby Mystery' has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island's annual celebration.
But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?
What did I think?
Scribbly Gum Island is such a fantastic name and I loved the little map at the beginning showing where everybody's house is.  I thought a family tree would have been useful as sometimes I had to stop to think who was who.

Unfortunately, the story was a little predictable - I solved the 'mystery' quite early on but the book was still worth reading as I became more interested in Grace's story rather than Enigma's (Enigma was the name given to the Munro baby).  Grace is Enigma's granddaughter and she's just given birth to Jake but she doesn't feel anything for him.  Her husband, Callum, is completely unaware of what Grace is going through.  Grace hatches a plan to pair Callum with Sophie (who inherited Connie's house) as she thinks Sophie will be a better mother to Jake than she is.  At one point, Grace is trying to surreptitiously plant this idea in Callum's head when she goes a bit too far and starts thinking "Retreat! Retreat!"  I laughed out loud at that.

Rose's story was also quite poignant.  Without her sister Connie, she feels simultaneously lost and free.  Connie always took charge of things and told Rose what to do, so I felt Rose spreading her creaky old wings a little.

My favourite part of the book was Grace telling her son that "Every day is gift.  Of course, sometimes it's a really horrible gift that you don't want."  This sums up life perfectly, if only we had the receipt we could take the gift back.

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