My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Last Anniversary is set on a little Australian island called Scribbly Gum Island, where the “Alice and Joe” families are the only ones staying, and ruled by Connie the Matriarch.
Events are set in motion by Connie’s death, which then forces different family members to see their lives for what it is, and then make changes for better or for worse.
There’s Sophie, who is not part of the Family, but is given an unexpected windfall through Connie’s death; Grace, who is battling with inner demons after her first child’s birth; Veronika, ever effervescent, who makes a new discovery about herself; Margie and Laura, sisters, who both forge new identities and remake themselves; and finally, Rose, who decides that she is done with secrets and finds the core of strength in her to forget the past.
The book is an easy read, narrated from various parties points view, but is never difficult to comprehend exactly who is speaking. There is a mystery at the heart of the story, which several try to protect, and others try to bring to the open. There are interesting family dynamics at play, and several new ones introduced towards the end of the story, thus alluding to the continuation of their lives.
Overall I liked the story, and could guess the ‘big’ mystery by the time I reached halfway through the book. I was gratified to know that my guesses were right when I reached the end. I think by then, I was more interested in finding out the fate of the characters than in the actual ‘reveal’. A fun summer read from a great author!