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
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:
Looks like a luscious fudge truffle, tastes like a chocolate-dipped gherkin.
Watch out for the green stuff.
I'm a Liane Moriarty fan. But this latest book is a mess. It's being marketed as a psychological thriller, but that's really not accurate since the story has only one major plot twist and very little actual suspense. The book's mission isn't really to surprise: instead, its mission seems to be to preach and nag. Unfortunately, by the end you won't have found out one darned thing you didn't already know.
Moriarty’s usual wry, spot-on observations about the dramas of real life are missing from this book. Setting all the action in an isolated (and oddly un-chichi) health spa cuts Moriarty off from showing everyday life and culture, which has been one of her greatest strengths. These characters are stranded, unable to go about their daily business of planning, worrying, drinking coffee, and bonding with other women. (Or worrying about what other women think of them.)
There are too many characters, eleven in all. And readers really get to know only two well: fifty-something romance author Frances and twenty-year-old nice-kid Zoe, who become unlikely allies as the spa experience grows weirder and more challenging.
The many other characters are painted in broad, overly general strokes, and their stories are only loosely connected. Each of the spa clients has an Important and Topical Issue to fret over: body image issues, menopause, social media addiction, death in the family, starting a family, plastic surgery addiction, the list keeps coming; you get the picture. Perhaps Moriarty had a list with check-off boxes to make sure she represented every demographic group.
Issues basically stand in for character development. I kept getting Ms. Guilty Grieving Mother mixed up with Ms. Body Image: both characters had dark hair and very little backstory, and they both moped around a lot. After a few hundred pages of characters sloooowly figuring out their many problems, all of the resolutions for even the major stories are sorted out and summed up in short, abrupt epilogue paragraphs. Hunh? And don’t even get me started on the book's single obligatory romance, which takes place [spoilers removed]
I’m guessing Moriarty was aiming to show all these strangers gradually thawing and bonding through the spa's team-building activities. And there is some of that. But the novel is really more like Fantasy Island goes to [spoilers removed] and the many unrelated characters' stories are connected very loosely by that hokey Fantasy Island plot device: they're all there at the same time to Change Their Lives.
And here is the novel’s biggest problem: the head of the spa is a great big galloping cartoon, a Russian control freak who improbably [spoilers removed] Even at the novel’s beginning, this character spouts so many Russian endearments she sounds like a Bond villain, and by extension, a peculiarly dated Cold War-era cliché.
Stereotyping is a problem with other characters as well. The book’s single gay character stops on his way to the spa to buy a case of really good wine and dreams of having a child who's a mini-me. The book’s only minority character is relegated to the thankless role of boss-worshiping flunkey. There is also nonstop gratuitous bashing of women who have body image issues (she really doesn’t need to lose weight! she just thinks she does), women who choose to have plastic surgery, and women who devote time to social media. The brief validation these characters get at the novel’s conclusion in no way compensates for the repeated scolding they weather throughout the rest of the book. Not to mention the fact that these aren’t solely women’s issues.
At one point, the book breaks the fourth wall in a trippy, meta way that I actually liked. We get dialogue from Frances’ editor: “!!!!” and “cliché?” which is just darned cute. But what a long way to travel for a mild joke.
Finally, the last word in the novel is devoted to [spoilers removed] a move that comes across as petty and weird, especially coming from a novelist who's basically become critic-proof.
I received my copy of the book through a Goodreads giveaway, and I was really excited until I actually read the book. Thanks Macmillan Flatiron and Goodreads, because the book is really pretty to look at.
Seriously, I don't know if I loved this book or absolutely hated it. Half way through I was done with it...but, there is a pull to keep you reading to see what happens to the Idiotic Nine, whom I also loved and hated.
There are 10-11 storylines in the book all told sporadically from each of their points of view. It wasn't confusing in the least, but it did get rather boring, especially for the characters that I didn't like. Even the epilogue went on....and on.....and on. Perhaps if it had been more selectively edited I would have enjoyed it more but, as it was, it is a book I will forget by next week. I expect better and more from Moriarty. Sadly.
Liane Moriarty's latest offering is a hugely enjoyable psychological thriller that is pure fun and entertainment whilst incorporating a look beneath the issues of a wide cast of characters and the moving stories that lie behind the facade of their everyday lives. Set in Australia, Tranquillem House is a health and wellness resort that many clients claim transformed their lives for the better. The latest batch of arrivals are 9 strangers that get considerably more than they bargained for with their 10 day cleansing programme of diet, light exercise, therapy and spa treatments. It is run by the Russian Masha, a ruthlessly ambitious former company executive whose near death experience led to a complete change in her life direction. Masha had a dark and hidden agenda for her latest customers, driven by the best of intentions, supported by her primary staff members, Yao, and Delilah.
Twice married Frances Welty is an established writer of romances whose career has gone into freefall with her latest offering being rejected by the publishing industry and whose boyfriend, Paul Drabble, has disappeared. Ben and Jessica are a troubled married couple who appear to be remarkably well off. Napoleon is a schoolteacher, with his wife, Heather, and daughter, Zoe, the entire family weighed down by grief and guilt. Tony is a former star footballer, who has recently lost his beloved dog, Banjo. Carmel has lost her husband to a younger woman, has four children, and has lost her self esteem and confidence. Lars is a well heeled divorce lawyer, who only represents wives in his word of mouth law practice. As the story progresses, the backstories and issues that lie behind each individual comes to be slowly revealed. The narcissistic, remote and humourless Masha has plans for them which she is certain will truly transform their lives and which will presage a glorious and glittering future with her in the limelight, enjoying global acclaim.
There is plenty of sly humour and wit in Moriarty's story of madness and mayhem at a health resort, where people with little in common with each other find themselves in circumstances where they form unexpected bonds and undergo unexpected transformations. The characters are well drawn and distinct, beautifully developed, all with such high hopes for their short stay at Tranquillem House, their interactions with each other are a joy to hehold. There are heartbreaking stories behind some of the characters, including Masha, that become apparent by the end. I found it hard to resist Moriarty's magic and succumbed to this fabulous novel with absolutely no regrets. A fantastic read with plenty of suspense and tension that comes highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.
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.