Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Last Anniversary Book Review

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

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Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie's house on Scribbly Gum Island - home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it's about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie's life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around - and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

Review by Brittany:

I enjoyed this book. I thought that all of the characters were well developed, and they underwent some major changes throughout the book, so that no character was the same at the end.

Grace is the character who spoke to me the most clearly. She was the character that struggled the most in her life, despite the outward appearance of it being perfect. While I couldn't relate to her situation as a new mother and a wife, I did feel empathy for her experiences.

Margie is also struggling, but her desire is to become a better version of herself, primarily by losing weight. Her changes throughout the novel lead her to not only lose weight, but to gain a sense of worth and a sense of self.

Sophie, who is supposed to be the main character, is actually the one that I feel changes the least throughout the book. She moves onto the island and becomes an unofficial member of the family, but I don't feel that anything really happens for her.

Following along with these characters is the story of the Munro Baby, which is how Connie and Rose made the island famous and were able to survive financially. At the end of the book, the mystery is revealed to be not quite the fanciful tale that they have been selling to the public all these years.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved reading about the characters and the changes they were going through. I would recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more by this author!

Notable quotes:

"A marriage is hard work and sometimes it's a bit of a bore. It's like housework. It's never finished. You've just got to grit your teeth and keep working away at it, day after day."

Maybe it will be easier without him there. She can stop worrying that he might notice she is all wrong as a mother.

Children made her feel huge and awkward and she was never sure exactly how to correctly pitch her conversation for their age group, worrying that she was speaking to them as if they were retarded or deaf.

...she has the feeling that she is on some sort of treacherous journey, and if she stops, even for a moment, then she might never get up again. It is better to just go doggedly on and on.

Being a mother is just like any other new skill, like driving a car or playing tennis. At first it seems impossibly difficult, but then, by gritting your teeth and trying again and again, you get your head around it.

It is just too much effort to be funny and entertaining and loving.

She enjoys thinking deliciously shocking thoughts from time to time.

But then she just got tired of hating him and started loving him again. It was easier.

But even while he is frustrated by her, or hurt by her, or plain irritated by her, he still loves her, he still has a secret crush on her, he is still awed that someone this beautiful is with him.

Sophie has always thought that the first time you get the hysterical giggles with a new female friend is like the first time you sleep with a boyfriend; it takes your relationship to a new, more intimate level.

People can't just go changing their personalities willy-nilly when they're middle-aged.

It is so strange that you can end up having such polite, awkward conversation with somebody with whom you once shared such intimate moments.

Pride comes before someone trips you flat on your face.

Sometimes a girl has to stop waiting around and come up with her own fairytale ending.

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