Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers

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.

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Liane Moriarty is one of my favourite authors, some of my favourite books include Big Little Lies and My Husband’s Secret. Sadly, Nine Perfect Strangers isn’t going to making it onto my favourite lists any time soon. In summary, there was a lot of characters and not much going on.

The novel was told from 11 different perspectives – the 9 strangers, Masha (the head of the spa) and Yao (one of the spa worker’s). It was a lot of people to sort through and the majority of the novel was focused on Frances who is a romance writer and recently was scammed by an online romance. I didn’t love Frances and I would of focused more on some of the other characters that we didn’t hear too much from (Lars, the divorce attorney or Caramel, who’s husband left her for a younger woman).

Sadly for most of the novel, not much happens. You are projected from character to character, learning their backstory and the reason why they went to the spa. There is a bit of a twist near the mid point of the novel and it becomes unrealistic. I was hoping there was some sort of murder mystery, but there was nothing of that sort. It was a lot of nothing.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. A disappointing read, but it made for some interesting discussion at our book club!

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