This. Book. Was. Excellent.
The writing was great, the characters were well written, the storyline was captivating – I can’t really fault it! And the fact that Moriarty is an Australian writer makes it all the sweeter that this book was so enjoyable 🙂
There are four different storylines in the book. (This isn’t reflected in the blurb on the back of the book though – so it’s really much more interesting and complex than it lets on!)
A super organised, people-loving mother of three girls, Cecilia seems to lead a successful and amazing life. She lives in a big house, runs a really healthy Tupperware business, and is happily married to Jean-Paul. She loves him, he loves her, and they both adore their daughters. When he goes away on a business trip, however, she comes across a letter addressed to her “to be opened in the event of my death”. Cecilia is curious, but is also loyal to her husband. She asks him about it. He goes weird. She overthinks and catastrophises. So she opens it – and in revealing the secret the letter holds, everything crumbles apart from there.
We are introduced to poor Tess as she sits with her cousin and best friend Felicity, and her husband Will. They are telling her some unfortunate news – they’ve fallen in love with each other. No, not a big saucy, sexy affair, but an actual love. Obviously this complicates things immensely. Somewhat flabbergasted and not sure how to handle the situation, Tess packs up her young son and gets on the next flight to Sydney to stay with her mother. While there, she enrols her son in her old primary school and manages to hook up with the PE teacher, who is an ex of hers.
Rachel is besotted with her grandson Jacob. He’s just about all she has left in her life since her husband died a few years back – but more importantly since her beloved firstborn Janie was murdered in 1984. The case was left unsolved, but Rachel suspects Janie was murdered by the last person to see her alive, who happens to be the PE teacher at the school she works at. Awkward. Ah! Rachel’s grief is so well communicated. It is excruciating. Her whole life has been turned upside down by this tragedy decades ago. When she comes across what she considers ‘new evidence’ that PE teacher Connor was the killer, she takes it straight to the police.
We are gifted with brief flashbacks to Janie’s last day of life in 1984, seeing things from her perspective. We see her hidden relationship with Jean-Paul (hint hint – Cecilia’s husband) and Connor (PE teacher!) and what happened on that day to make one of them kill her.
I didn’t see the truth coming! It was a shock, and it was a satisfying one. The book takes place over one week. A lot can happen in one week, and I am delighted with how Moriarty wove these 4 stories together so enticingly and beautifully.
I also love me a justified ending! What happens in the end is terrible, but it also rounds it all off perfectly. I also appreciate the epilogue, which goes just that little bit further into rounding off the story by explaining what could have been.
Thank you Liane Moriarty for this brilliant read!