BINGO: Flora – Apple tree
Fans of the genre.
In a nutshell:
Joy and Stan have four children, and have recently retired from running a tennis school. All of them have played tennis competitively, though none still play professionally as adults. Last year, a stranger appeared at their door, and Joy and Stan took her in. Six months later, the stranger has been gone for a bit, and Joy has gone missing.
“It happened all the time. Talented kids turned into ordinary adults.”
“The added weight of their hopes for her success was too much for her to bear.”
Why I chose it:
Wandered into the bookshop I used to visit weekly when I was working in the office and saw this was out. I usually wait for the paperback version but I needed something for the train ride I was about to take.
Moriarty has a formula: a thing has happened. We jump forward and back, slowly joining the time lines, hearing different perspectives from different characters. There is probably a twist, usually a couple, definitely a red herring or two.
This time, it worked for me.
There’s the obvious main plot, of the missing mother. Did dad kill her? Did she leave him? Did something else happen entirely? And what is the deal with the young woman they took in a few months back?
But there are also interesting character developments here, possibly more than I recall from her previous works. The children are all not just described by themselves in their own chapters, but we see how their parents and their siblings see them. The idea that parents think they still know their adult children better than the children know themselves, because they are their parents, is interesting, especially when they are so very wrong. And the dynamics between the children are fascinating as well.
I was basically sucked in from the start, and while I don’t see this one being turned into a limited series like a couple of her other books, I definitely enjoyed it.
Recommend to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it: