by Liane Moriarty
Nine Perfect Strangers, written by Liane Moriarty, is another really good book that is part mystery, part thriller and written by the same author as Big Little Lies. If you haven’t read Big Little Lies or watched the series on HBO, you must! She is one of my favorite authors for many reasons, mainly for the mystery, secrets and webs she weaves into each story.
Nine Perfect Strangers is another book that the author manages to weave a strong and detailed web about nine strangers who couldn’t be more different. The differences quickly become apparent when each arrives at the Tranquillum House, a remote spa set far from civilization. Some are trying to lose weight, others are trying to recover from physical and emotional pain and one couple is struggling to save their marriage.
Frances, a former best selling author arrives with severe physical pain in her back, a cut that won’t heal and emotional pain from a loss that has become a part of her soul. One of the employees working with her tells her “not to do anything she isn’t comfortable with”, and she is puzzled. Frances soon meets the owner of the whole body spa, and she is engaging, unique and intriguing, yet mysterious and a force of nature. Francis is curious, but instantly questions her decision to be at the spa, she wonders if she should be here and will she make it through the 10 day program. Should she trust the process or get out now and runaway as fast as she can? It doesn’t take long for the others to ask the same question.
As the days tick by, each one is filled with odd activities and requirements. Each of the nine is stunned by what they are being asked to do, yet they challenge themselves, and are slowly reassessing their lives, and hanging in there instead of listening to their inner voice. But when one bizarre test pushes each of them to a breaking point where they all believe they are never going to escape Tranquillum House, they are trapped.
If you read reviews of the book, some are not real favorable of the storyline, which surprises me in a way, but also doesn’t. We all like different types of books and an author can’t please everyone. I will tell you this, Nine Perfect Strangers is different than some of her other books. There is quite a bit of dialogue between the nine guests and internal dialogue within each character which can be a bit hard to follow, but I loved it. The dialogue drags you into each person and I felt like I was standing in the room on the sidelines watching this all play out.
The book gripped me from the first paragraph and didn’t let go until the end, and then I was still thinking about the story long after I had finished it. At times I was laughing and other times, I was shocked by the twists, turns and the web she intricately weaves.
With all the varied reviews, I am going to encourage you to give it a try, be brave, take the journey and then come back and comment on whether or not you liked the book, why and what your thoughts are on the story.
Until next time,