Nine Perfect Strangers
The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.
Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.
Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.
Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.
For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.
These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .
Liane Moriarty’s new book follows nine strangers over the course of their stay at Tranquillum House, a luxurious health and wellness resort in the beautiful, rugged bush of Australia. Each with their own struggles and concerns, the nine strangers seek a way of transforming their lives and when they stumble upon Tranquillum House, they instantly book their stay. Confidence is slipping, faith is broken and hope is all but gone. This ten-day break is the last chance for reinvention, for change and for a new life. But at this health resort a strange sense of foreboding permeates the tranquility.
Frances is a frank, flirtatious and hilarious novelist whose career is going down the drain and whose heart has been broken following a romance scam that robbed her of her savings. On top of this she has received a scathing review of her latest book and no one now wants to publish her. The life she had planned with Paul was going to be exceptional but then he vanished and Frances was left ashamed and embarrassed in the wake of the con man’s betrayal.
Ben and Jessica are a young couple who have recently won millions on the lottery but on the tail of their success is sadness and desperation. A seed of doubt has crept into their marriage and they no longer know how they feel about one another. She is more concerned with her looks and Instagram account and he is more interested in his old life and his Lamborghini. Taking a chance, the couple book a stay at Tranquillum House but if it can help them and restore their marriage, they don’t know.
The Marconi family are grieving the loss of their beloved son and brother. In a bid to celebrate his life and remember him as he should be remembered, they leave their home and the disaster that occurred there, hoping that the resort will give them some peace from the constant torment of their loss.
Lars is a wealthy, successful lawyer running from further commitment with his long-term partner. A health resort addict, he is all for embracing the slightly peculiar ways of Tranquillum House, especially as it gives him time to ponder his life choices.
Carmel is an exhausted mother of four young girls. Feeling the ache of her husband leaving her for a newer model, Carmel, like her fellow guest Tony hopes to lose some weight over the course of her stay. Afflicted with self-doubt, they both are determined to change their lives for the better.
Nine Perfect Strangers did not go the way I thought it would. Liane Moriarty really surprised me with this one. She delves deep into the nitty gritty of her characters and their histories, which enables the reader to completely understand them and their actions. Frances is by far my favourite character. Her wit and cheeky remarks had me grinning to myself. What a character! Slowly a dynamic evolves in the group of guests and it was interesting to see them grow and interact as they all have such differing personalities.
Tension and suspense ripple through the pages. I really enjoyed this book, it has a perfect measure of darkness and humour, intrigue and obsession. Brilliant!
Tense. Compelling. Fabulous.
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About Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty is the bestselling author of eight novels: Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty and Nine Perfect Strangers. The Husband’s Secret is a worldwide bestseller which has sold more than two million copies and been translated into over forty languages. Big Little Lies is now an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning HBO series, produced by and starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.
Huge thanks to Gaby and Michael Joseph for my review copy!