The only book by Liane Moriarty I’ve read is Big Little Lies and…Nine Perfect Strangers is different. The mystery isn’t who died or who killed them, it’s will these people make it out of here? Nine Perfect Strangers wins because of its well-developed, unique, and quirky characters and the ridiculous situation they seem to all be in at Tranquillum House, a wellness retreat where these nine guests have committed to spending ten days to better themselves in various ways.
Tranquillum House is going to host nine strangers for a ten-day wellness retreat complete with five days of silence and no caffeine or alcohol and lots of yoga and massages, but the woman who runs things, Masha, has some…interesting tactics for getting people to unlock their best selves. Now, the guests. There is Frances,a romance writer fresh off of her own romantic failing. There’s Ben and Jessica, a wealthy young couple whose marriage is falling about. There’s the uber-healthy Marconis, Heather and Napolean and their daughter, Zoe, who like to get away every January. There’s Tony, a man looking to change his lifestyle, and Lars, a perennial wellness retreat attendee. And there’s Carmel, a mother-of-four looking to become a better version of herself. And then of course there is the enigmatic (and maybe not in the good way) Masha, and her two assistants, Yao and Delilah. What lengths will Masha go to to transform her guests? How will they survive, with or without each other?
This book isn’t the fastest paced thing I’ve ever read. It takes awhile for the stakes to really ratchet up, but what makes you want to keep reading is the characters and unlocking their stories. This was one of my November Book of the Month picks and I’m glad I read it!