The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty


The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

The Doughty Family lives on the oddly named Scribbly Gum Island, a short ferry ride from Sydney Australia, and so called after the Scribbly Gum Eucalyptus trees that grow there.

The Island and the family becomes famous because 70 years previously, teenage sisters Connie and Rose Doughty had found an abandoned baby girl whose parents Alice and Jack Munro had mysteriously vanished. It created a media sensation which captivated Australians, and turned sleepy Scribbly Gum Island into a tourist attraction offering guided tours, cream teas, souvenirs and a carnival atmosphere. In time both Rose and the baby, who had been named Enigma, get married and have children and eventually grandchildren. The dynasty which becomes very wealthy but rather inward looking is held on a tight reign by matriarch Connie. The scene changes when Connie dies and bequeaths her beautiful home to Sophie Honeywell, an outsider, who she had met just twice. Family infighting starts and traditions begin to unravel.

The book was given a high score and enjoyed by one member. Another thought it readable and interesting as alongside the saga of the unconventional Doughty Clan, Moriarty allows us a peep into their thoughts, fantasies and secrets, giving us a somewhat surreal understanding of their characters.

However, this was not the opinion of the majority of the group who variously claimed it to be boring, written for teenagers, compared to an Enid Blyton children’s adventure story, naïve, rubbish, lightweight, predictable, with characters floating around disconnectedly. The average score was a miserable of 3 out of 10.

The evening was sweetened with a lovely fresh raspberry tart.