The Last Anniversary - Liane Moriarty (2005)

This is the second novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty, published in 2005.

A map of the small islandThe book is set in Australia, some 50 kilometers North of Sidney, on a (fictional) island called Scribbly Gum Island (after the Scribbly Gum trees that grow there) in the (fictional?) Glass Bay, mound of the (real) Hawkesbury River.

The island is the property of the Doughty family. In 1882, Harry Doughty, who was a poor blacksmith, won the island from the former owner, Sir Charles McKay in a bet over a cricket match.

The book is focused on two periods: a period starting in 1932 and one in the present (around 2000 or so).

In 1932, Jack and Alice Munro disappear from their house on Scribbly Gum Island, leaving behind a baby girl. Connie (Constance) Doughty (19 years old) and her younger sister Rose were invited to their neighbours, Jack and Alice, for tea, and find the baby in her crib. They take the baby home to take care of her. The Munros never return home. Connie and Rose name the baby Enigma. Connie and Rose live with their father, who suffers from war traumas. ("Dad doesn’t really get off the island much. My father isn’t well. He was gassed twice in France.") Their mother is recently deceased. A young journalist, Jimmy Thrum, comes to the island to interview Connie about the Munro Baby Mystery.

In the present, only Connie and Rose Doughty, Enigma Munro and Enigma's descendants still live in the six houses on the island, which is by now a tourist attraction for the famous Munro Baby Mystery: people can visit the Munro house, which is empty and still intact. The family members give tours of the house. In Connie's will, she leaves her house on the island to Sophie.


A few more details about the characters in the book:

Family Trees

The numbers indicate the generation. For example Jake is the fifth generation: he's Grace's son, Laura's grandson, Enigma's great-grandson and Jack and Alice's great-great-grandson.

Family tree of Aunt Connie Family tree of Enigma Family tree of Sophie
  • 1: Harry Doughty
  • 2: Dad x Mum
  • 3: Daughter Connie x Jimmy Thrum
  • 3: Daughter Rose
  • 1: Jack Munro x Alice
  • 2: Enigma x Nathaniel McNabb
  • 3: Enigma's daughter Margie x Ron Gordon
  • 3: Enigma's daughter Laura divorced from Simon
  • 4: Margies son Thomas x Deborah
  • 4: Margies daughter Veronika
  • 5: Thomas' daughter Lily
  • 4: Laura's daughter Grace x Callum
  • 5: Grace's son Jake
  • 1: Hans Honeywell x Gretel
  • 2: Sophie


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