Book Reviews

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I am a firm believer in the fact that you need to read a book before you watch a TV show or see the movie. You need to know what inspired it before you can compare. There is no chicken/egg question here because it is clear. My parents started watching Nine Perfect Strangers and I decided it was time I read it.

The Story

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever?
These nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made Liane Moriarty’s writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

My Thoughts

I have mixed feelings when it comes to Liane Moriarty. I loved Big Little Lies, but have been let down by a few others. I’d say that Nine Perfect Strangers falls somewhere in the middle. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about it, and I can 100% see why.

I read the book fairly quickly. It’s written with an omniscient narrator, but each chapter focuses on someone different. You get the whole picture, but it’s also nice because you feel like you get to know the characters as well, like you would from a first person perspective.

Honestly, the first bit of Nine Perfect Strangers felt like a drag. I’d say the first 40% or so. I had a hard time relating to the characters, and I wasn’t loving it. However, when the smoothie hit…that’s when I just couldn’t put it down.

However, I had a ton of WTF moments while I was reading. Sometimes it was, “How the heck are they falling for this?” Other times, I was confused about character traits that were introduced.

In the end, it was a fun read. If you’re looking for something to bring to the pool or on vacation or just help you escape for a while, you should definitely pick up Nine Perfect Strangers. You will be entertained.

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