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Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
Contemporary fiction

Apples Never Fall

by Liane Moriarty

Quick take

The latest from the author of Nine Perfect Strangers follows a wealthy family whose matriarch goes missing.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

Why I love it

Brianna Goodman
BOTM Editorial Team

If you’ve spent any time with the sneaky mothers of Big Little Lies, or the wellness retreaters of Nine Perfect Strangers, or any of the other characters that populate Liane Moriarty’s novels, then you know by now that Moriarty has a knack for writing about complicated, flawed people in ways that are oh-so-fun to read. And in Apples Never Fall she’s done it again with the Delaneys: an outwardly successful family whose dirty laundry comes tumbling out when one of their own goes missing.

Stan and Joy Delaney have retired from their days running a prestigious tennis academy and are looking forward to their years as empty nesters. From the outside, their marriage seems solid. But when Joy abruptly goes missing, the police, the community, and even the Delaneys’ own children start to wonder if things weren’t as happy as they seemed. Is it possible that Stan could have harmed his wife? And what ever happened to that mysterious stranger that showed up bleeding at the Delaneys’ door all those months ago?

In true Moriarty fashion, as the novel unfolds, the pieces of the puzzle fall expertly into place. But what really kept me turning pages is the way Moriarty can turn mundane, often frustrating experiences in life—family feuds, long-held resentments, misunderstandings—into moments of warmth, humor, and compassion. Part mystery, part family drama, this book is a reminder that although things often don’t go the way we’ve planned, we’re not alone in trying to figure out the best way to live this thing we call life.

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The Delaney family love one another dearly—it’s just that sometimes they want to murder each other . . .

If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?

This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.

The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?

The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.

One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.

Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Apples Never Fall.

Member thoughts

All (5697)
All (5697)
Love (2532)
Like (2676)
Dislike (489)
5749 ratings
  • 44% Love
  • 47% Like
  • 9% Dislike
  • Portland, OR

    Really enjoyed this novel. I predicted a piece of the ending as I was getting real “where’d you go Bernadette” vibes right off the start. But there was another twist I didn’t see coming that I loved!

  • Mooresville, NC

    I have read all of Liane Moriarty’s books! This one didn’t disappoint. I loved her examination of the complexities of marriage and family—the complexities of loving and being human. It will stay w/ me

  • Austin , TX

    As usual, Liane Moriarity provides a great read with complex yet believable characters and a plot with surprising twists. I have shared this book with several friends and we all agree—it’s excellent.

  • Neenah, WI

    I always enjoy Liane Moriarty’s quirky style. Her stories are always relatable and her characters likable. As you would expect there are plenty of LOL moments to enjoy in this novel. Highly recommend!

  • Lexington Park, MD

    Possibly the best book I’ve read this year! It has everything; drama, mystery, laughter, heartache. I could not put this down. The character development was flawless. So well written. such a good book

  • Logan, UT

    Liane Moriarty never disappoints. This tale of four siblings trying to figure out what happened after the disappearance of their mom and is dad’s deed? Does the apple fall far or is it someone else?

  • Carlyle, IL

    All I can say is, Wow! This author never disappoints and this was almost as good as big little lies. Such a satisfying read! I could not put this one down. Recommend highly!!! Read all her books!

  • Bellefonte, PA

    Liane creates flawed & endearing characters who feel so real that you could actually stop by the Delaney home for apple crumble. You laugh, then hear an insight so poignant it stops you in your tracks

  • Palmdale, CA

    Loved following the story of this family and all of the secrets held by each member. The ending was unexpected, and then in the last chapter, there was sort of a second ending. All in all a great read

  • Los Angeles, CA

    The ending of this book had me on the edge of my seat! I loved the way the past is told from the view of the family and the present is told from the perspective of everyone else. Makes a great mystery

  • Toledo, OH

    Moriarty writes characters like no other- so fully realized! The perfect blend of humor and heartbreak, twists and turns, victories and losses. I know this will be one of my favorite books this year!

  • Warren, OH

    At times I was so frustrated to know what happened to this families mom. Did she disappear? Did she run away? Was she murdered? Who murdered her?Will a body be found? I never saw the ending coming!

  • Lafayette, IN

    Liane Moriarty never fails to surprise me, and I'm hard to surprise. The writing was strong and beautiful, and I often paused to re-read phrases that struck me. I'm buying this book for everyone.

  • Pendleton, IN

    This book really made me think about the complicated relationships that family members have. Our lives are in a constant state of evolving and we might not know someone quite the way we used to.

  • Round Lake Park, IL

    Liane Moriarty will never stop amazing me with her ability to draw her reader into the story and to create memorable characters. This book was also quite witty and had me laughing out loud.

  • Sharon, CT

    I also enjoy this author’s books. This was a story about family and all of its love but also dysfunctions. Mystery intertwined in between parenting and grown children and kept one guessing

  • Bothell , WA

    This was an interesting read for me as I'm a physical therapist and the youngest of 4 children...2 boys and 2 girls. The siblings mimicked my real life experience so that really drew me in.

  • Mount Rainier, MD

    Love Liane, love her writing, and love her social commentary. This one is consistent with most of her books. It explores the complexities of familial relationships and the human character.

  • Rittman, OH

    Really enjoyed how you just kept getting deeper and deeper into the inner workings of this family, and how they evolved through adulthood. Good twist at the end, and overall happy ending

  • Atlanta, GA

    I’m not sure what I was expecting but I really liked this book. The characters were engaging, there was solid character development and the plot had realistic and interesting twists. 9/10

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