Nine Perfect Strangersby Published 06 Nov 2018
|Nine Perfect Strangers.pdf|
Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, 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 her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.
Nine Perfect Strangers Reviews
2.5 stars, rounded up.
Ugh. This one really fell flat for me.
The idea of self-improvement is often an appealing one, but it takes so much work, so when someone offers us a quick solution, how can we not jump on it?
That's what is bringing nine people to Tranquillum House, an exclusive health resort in a remote part of Australia. They're coming to lose weight, to detox a bit from the alcohol they've become fond of, to get lots of spa treatments and massages, and to get a jump on the problems that have been plaguing them. In 10 days, the resort promises, they'll feel totally changed.
Frances Welty, once a best-selling romance author, is one of those coming to Tranquillum House. She knows she needs to lose some weight and come to terms with menopause, the imminent decline of her career, and the hurt and humiliation she feels after a romance has gone awry. She's been nursing a bad back, a cold, and a vicious paper cut, and she hopes the pampering and the light fasting will help solve her problems.
Ben and Jessica are a young married couple whose relationship has definitely seen better days. All Ben seems to care about is his fancy new sports car (well, it's a Lamborghini, so can you blame him?) while Jessica has spent tons of money on plastic surgery to make herself look better (at least in her eyes), yet her husband doesn't ever tell her how great she looks. They're hoping some marriage counseling might make the difference.
Napoleon, Heather, and Zoe, are a family that certainly looks healthy. But they're carrying around a lot of grief, anger, regret, fear, and guilt related to a tragedy that happened just three years ago. While it might have been a better idea to go on a cruise or some other vacation, they hope that the time to meditate and reflect might help them move past these issues.
These people and others expect that their stay won't be all pampering and relaxation, but they're not prepared for all that the health resort is going to throw at them. It's going to take some work to make change happen, but they have no idea just how far the director of the resort is willing to take things. It's going to be more than fasting, yoga, massages, and hikes in the beautiful countryside. In some sense, their very survival may be at stake—certainly their willingness to fight for themselves will be challenged.
I had high hopes for Nine Perfect Strangers given how much I enjoyed some of Liane Moriarty's previous books, including Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret . But this one never took off for me; in fact, the pacing was so slow it felt like I was reading it for 10 days, as long as these characters were planning to be at the health resort!
First of all, when a book introduces 11 characters to you and provides in-depth backstories for most of them, that's a lot to wade through. There definitely were some interesting characters to follow with fascinating (and sometimes sad) stories, but I could have done with half of them, because the constant shifting of narration made it difficult to keep any sort of rhythm.
But honestly, the whole situation with the director of the resort and her decision to take things in a new direction I found utterly laughable. I was waiting to see just how over-the-top Moriarty would take things, and found some of it really hard to believe. I did like the way she tied things up with some of her characters, but I was really disappointed on the whole.
I hate when you've been waiting for an author you like to come out with a new book and it disappoints. The good news for me is, there are still some of Moriarty's earlier books I haven't read, so I look forward to those. And who knows? You may enjoy this one more than I did.
See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
This book was a barrel of fun!
I mean really ~ nutty, quirky, and just hilarious.
I LOVE a good health spa, and the remote Tranquillum House sounded absolutely breathtaking. Nine people sign up for a 10 day visit to achieve a "cleanse" and do a bit of recharging. They have absolutely no idea whats in store for them. Lets just say the rather exotic director, Masha is downright creepy and she might be a bit of control freak. At one point Masha tells her guests, "This is a health resort, not a prison." Hmm...time to worry I'd say!
Frances was my FAVORITE guest and she is hilarious. She is also a down and out romance writer. She can't decide if Masha is mad, crazy, nuts and unhinged or perhaps shes a "genius" and really odd, alternative, intense, excessively tall and exotic. No one can seem to figure her out!
We meet all the guests and their quirks and behind the scenes antics. I was laughing out loud throughout this book and the snarky humor and over the top spa stay was a blast!
It was probably a bit too long and could have been shorter, but it had a lot to offer. Mixed reviews had me hesitant, but I'm glad I purchased this one for myself (a treat). Something about a health spa gone wrong was just my perfect read. Read if for a wild week at the spa!
I might call this a dark, comic fiction with a hint of thriller. I'm already searching for another Moriarty fix.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is a 2018 Flatiron publication.
Frances- former bestselling romance author- ironically the victim of a romance con/scam
Lars- divorce attorney representing women only
Tony- former professional sports star
Napoleon, Heather, and Zoe- family coming apart at the seams
Caramel- Husband dumped her for a younger woman- wants to lose weight – gain positive self -image
Ben and Jessica – marriage on the rocks after winning the lottery
Masha- Head guru- health spa owner
Nine people, all from very different walks of life, arrive at Tranquillum House, a highly recommended health resort. Each of them is coping with various life issues, from simple domestic uncertainties, or huge family problems, to marital woes, and weight loss goals.
After the prologue, the first character the reader is introduced to is Frances. This was a great opener for the avid reader who will ‘get’ the subtle and not so subtle digs at the publishing industry and the trends they run right into the ground until they become a parody of themselves, forcing authors to either hop on board the train or wait for their chosen genre to become popular again. So, right away, I knew I was going have to see how Frances fared, and was all in. I couldn’t wait to see what other sardonic observations the author had up her sleeve.
But, I must warn you. This book is not like Moriarty’s previous novels, which usually centered around the family unit, providing a taut element of suspense, blended with humor and sarcasm. This novel has the humor, sarcasm and the suspense, but the setting is not at all domestic, as you will see.
I usually dislike novels with a large cast of characters. I get confused easily trying to keep up with so many backstories and the plot is usually way too busy. However, this book is an exception. I had no trouble keeping up the characters and the plot is straightforward, so despite the number of characters, the story has a nice, even flow. The only drawback might be that it loses some of the intimacy of Moriarty’s previous works.
I loved all the characters. They are a zany group of people, flawed of course, some dealing with deeper issues than others, but all of them are so human and real. I rooted for and cared for them all, but Frances remained a favorite character for me from start to finish. Heather, Zoe, and Napoleon have the meatiest story in the book and evoke some serious emotions.
Overall, this one is a bit of a departure for Liane Moriarty, but her signature style is etched all through the novel. While the plot is just this side of deranged, the story is a compulsive read, perhaps a little overlong, but otherwise compelling and highly engrossing!!
Wildly entertaining, wickedly perceptive & an irresistible page-turner!
“It’s just a story!” ......and oh boy what a story it was!
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by LIANE MORIARTY was such a fantastic, lighthearted, fun, sad, and touching story that was so thought-provoking and yet so humourous to read. I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t get enough of these quirky characters. I adored this book right from the very start and had me laughing out loud numerous times and then at other times gasping out loud in shock for the pain that some of these characters were suffering.
LIANE MORIARTY delivers quite the fascinating, intriguing, vulnerable, lifelike, and beautifully written read here with quirky and realistic characters, a brazen and dynamic premise and an extremely spellbinding and enthralling storyline.
What really stood out about this novel for me was how realistic and raw these characters were written. I could see myself and others in probably every single one of these characters in this story. I thought the inner thoughts and dialogue was absolutely spot on.
I absolutely loved the way that this novel made me feel and yup in the end it gave me that warmth and satisfying afterglow that I seek in my books.
This was a Traveling Friends Group Read that I read with some Goodreads & Instagram friends. Thanks so much for the wonderful reading experience!!!
Cover: Simply beautiful, natural, effective & purely Moriarty! P.S. - Do you see an outline of a woman’s body on the cover?
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and a fabulous representation to storyline. The nine guests were perfectly imperfect!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, captivating, witty, intelligent and smart.
Plot: Intriguing, clever, thought-provoking, suspenseful, perfectly-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and highly entertaining.
Ending: Clever and totally satisfying. Loved the progressive timeline.
Overall: An extremely enjoyable & entertaining read that had me totally engrossed from start to finish! Would highly recommend!
Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:
HER BEST YET.
I said to my husband recently... I just love the way I feel when I’m reading a Liane Moriarty book. Like I'm surrounded by lovely, neurotic, warm, friends. And Liane has done it again with this wonderful book about nine strangers who go to a health retreat. As always, Liane's observations about life are just so damn spot on. Frances was my favourite guest, but the rest of the gang—Napoleon, Tony, Heather, Ben, Jessica, Carmel, Zoe, Yao... even Masha—I adored them too. I sort of wanted to go to that retreat ... and then I didn’t. I really didn't. The book is funny and sad and touching, and full of wisdom. All the feels. I feel so lucky to have read an early copy.