Normally I’m pretty hard on books. I rarely give 5 stars. And I was explaining this to my husband by saying, “There really isn’t a perfect book.” Which is true. But he questioned my logic (not the first time that has happened!)
And while it’s true that there aren’t perfect books, I think maybe I should go a little easier on books. Not lower my expectations, but allow myself to award 5 stars to a perfectly imperfect book once in a while.
We’ve been inside waiting out a blizzard for the past 20 hours or so. And in between making food, sleeping, online shopping and just watching snowflakes fall, I managed to finish Liane Moriarty’s newest book, Nine Perfect Strangers. And it wasn’t perfect. But it gave me all the feels. So I’m giving it 5 stars!
From the Publisher:
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.
Liane Moriarty is most well-known these days for Big Little Lies, which you may be aware, was made into an HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon. This is her work that has made her a household name. But long before that, Moriarty had the chops to pen a seriously touching and memorable novel.
Nine Perfect Strangers is no exception. Although I’ve read every single book by Moriarty, I have to admit that this was probably my most anticipated title, just given her recent surge in popularity. For me she has gone from an author whose books I enjoy to an author whose book I need to read immediately when it is available (or before if I can get an e-galley!)
The book opens on, well, nine strangers (besides a couple and a family) arriving on a wellness retreat. But not just a relaxing spa retreat, but one of those where they expect extreme things of you in order to encourage a complete life transformation in just 10 days. For me, this brought to mind the guy who forced all those people into that super hot steaming teepee on a retreat and ended up killing some of them.
And while it might not be that extreme, it’s definitely not a relaxing vacation. As the guests settle in, we learn about what brought them on the retreat, and we learn all about what made Masha, the mastermind behind the retreat, enter this line of work.
A lot happens. But through it all, we really get to know the characters and understand them. And in the end, well, you’ll have to read to find out. One thing I loved is that Moriarty gives us conclusions, afterwords, and anecdotes for after the story which I love. While still leaving some up to the imagination.
A must-read and can’t miss Christmas gift for any Moriarty fan. I’d also recommend for Jodi Picoult and Emily Giffin fans.
Download a free excerpt from Goodreads or get your copy now!