Moriarty excels in unpeeling characters’ psyches ... If Moriarty stumbles at all in this story, it’s at the end when she brings us back into Savannah’s orbit, where things get overlong and a bit convoluted. That’s a shame, because it’s also when we learn what the title is all about, a powerful reminder that parental love and attention do matter over time. Moriarty does know how to combine a family saga with a mystery; she’s done it before ... What she has more trouble with may be balancing hope with hopelessness, never an easy task. But that lapse isn’t all that important. Moriarty tells a great story, understands her characters and cares about them, too. Readers who have kept up with her books will adore Apples Never Fall, and readers just discovering Moriarty will seek out her previous titles after savoring this fresh, juicy tale.
Moriarty is at her best in the suburbs, and here the alternating points of view give a full picture and a gentle skewering of the pain points of suburban living. As the two time lines converge, and a happy ending is reached, no clue is left abandoned, not even in the chilling final chapter.
Moriarty is a master of ambiguity and also of the small, telling detail ... The ultimate reveal is satisfying, if troubling. But Moriarty’s main focus, which she approaches from countless familiar and unexpected angles, is the mystery of family and what it means to be a parent, child, or sibling in the Delaney family—or in any family, for that matter. Funny, sad, astute, occasionally creepy, and slyly irresistible.