Nine Perfect Strangers is a bit of a misleading title because the nine guests aren’t all strangers when they enter the Tranquillum wellness retreat in Australia, looking to change their lives. In fact, the guest list includes a young husband and wife pair, as well as a young woman and both her parents. And as is typical in Liane Moriarty’s books, this story unfolds through multiple perspectives so the reader is treated to all the characters’ unique viewpoints as well as their internal musings, and in this case their dreams when they undergo the controversial and potentially dangerous procedures that they definitely did not expect when they signed up to have their lives transformed over their 10-day stay.
Yes, a lot about the situation in the plot was inane and one character’s spiral from control freak to out-of-control psychotic felt a little contrived. However, Moriarty cleverly reflects some of the overindulgence of our society through her narrative, almost writing a parody to mock our tendencies to see things as more important and significant than they really are.
I don’t think Nine Perfect Strangers was as profound as Big Little Lies (my favorite of her novels and the one which has recently been adapted for a TV mini-series) but I think it’s a little unfair to compare every book an author writes to their previous publications. I got teary eyed at a couple points and I quite liked the resolution where the fictional novelist within the story broke character and started writing directly to the reader.
Would you like to know what I thought of Moriarty’s earlier novels? Click the title below to read my review
I also read her books Truly Madly Guilty (2016) and The Hypnotist’s Love Story(2011) but failed to write reviews. I will have to fix that at some point. Liane Moriarty is the only author right now where I have read all her publications so I will continue to read all her books, not just to keep that record but also because I greatly admire her writing style, I think she is very clever at creating characters who are bumbling but also relatable and her ability to present opposing characters in a multi-perspective narrative is quite adept.
Title: Nine Perfect Strangers
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publication: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Reading Challenge Note
Liane Moriarty is an Australian author so this books counts toward the month-long readathon #AussieApril in which I am a participant and the focus is to read more books written by our friends “down under”
Click to watch my video where I share a few more details about my plans for the challenge