Rating: 3.5 Stars
Liane Moriarty is always a gamble for me. While I absolutely love Big Little Lies, I’m not a fan of some of her other work. It took me a long time to get around to reading Nine Perfect Strangers, but once I started, I managed to finish it in one day. What makes Moriarty a winner in my eyes is how easy it is to read her books.
Nine people book a 10-day retreat at a very expensive health resort known as Tranquillum House. All of them have different reasons for attending the retreat. None of them are quite ready for what coming here entails.They don’t have access to the outside world at all, their electronic gadgets all being taken away from them. The program surprises them, and most of them are resistant to the rules they have to follow.
The mastermind behind the retreat is a formidable woman, Masha, the resort’s director, who is determined to see her retreat program succeed at any cost. She dreams of changing the lives of these nine people like she has changed her own. Helping her achieve her dream are Yao and Delilah, both willing to do what is necessary to attain their own goals.
However, everything is not as it seems, for Masha has not disclosed the exact nature of the methods she intends to use for everyone to become a new person. As the group becomes used to the strict rules of the retreat, they are not ready to face the truth about what’s going on at the resort.
Told from alternating perspectives of all twelve people involved, the story is gripping and fast paced. Morairty uses simple language and short chapters which keep you from getting bored. All the characters are interesting, and have different outlooks on life which keeps the story from becoming monotonous.
What keeps it from being an excellent book in my eyes, is the plot that offers nothing new; we have all read books and watched movies with similar plots and stories. There is no big revelation, or a twist of epic proportions, and the characters are all squeaky clean with hardly any shades of grey. Even Masha’s character made me roll my eyes during the climax! Such a grand build up, and then it all just whimpers away.
Overall, an average read, with an extra half star for easy reading.