‘Apples Never Fall’ Offers the Best Kind of Twist at the End of a Mystery

Apples Never Fall has the kind of ending that will probably haunt you forever. It’s worth it.

When your mother goes missing, the last thing you’d expect would be to blame your father for her possible murder. But that’s exactly what happens to the Delaney children when their mother walks out of the house and doesn’t return.

An investigation into Joy’s whereabouts forces the Delaney family to look back not just on the past year but at their whole past as siblings, sons, daughters, and spouses.

But there’s nothing more suspicious than a mysterious woman who has also disappeared after appearing at their mother’s doorstep, wrecking everything, and leaving a shattered mess behind.

I absolutely adored this book, and not just because I’m a textbook softie for multi-generational family drama (that isn’t my own, of course). The writing is suspenseful, dark, and funny, and the story is a continuous unraveling of everyone’s dirty laundry. It’s like a soap opera, but with a high-quality ending.

This is also a story that has two endings — one happy and one extremely haunting. I tend to judge whether or not the ending of a story is “good” based on how long it sits with me after. It’s now been a month since I finished this book and I … still think about the ending at least once a day? So there’s that.

Admittedly, this is my first Liane Moriarty, but it certainly won’t be my last.

The depth at which this book explores the different roles people play in a family and what it truly means to love a person you’re related to both fascinated and inspired me. I’ve always worried that for whatever reason I won’t be a good mother, and here comes Apples Never Fall just to drop two examples of “good” and “anything but” in my lap right when I needed it. Joy isn’t perfect, but she’s not a bad mother. It takes a certain kind of person to break a child forever. Mistakes don’t make you a failure, not as a parent nor spouse nor offspring. They simply make you human.

But if you’re a terrible person on purpose well, good luck with that.

This book will keep you turning pages all the way through — and it’s a big task (a lot of pages). But it’s delightful and a little jarring, with one ending twist I truly didn’t see coming, and you know, that other one that I almost wish I hadn’t seen at all. Almost.

This is absolutely worth your time. I know I’m a little late to the game, but I certainly won’t be making that mistake again.

Apples Never Fall is available now wherever books are sold.


Meg Dowell is the creator of Brain Rush, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words, and Not a Book Hoarder, celebrating books of all kinds. She is an editor, writer, book reviewer, podcaster, and photographer. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about nonsense and Star Wars.