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Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers 10

by Liane Moriarty
Publication Date: 18/09/2018
4/5 Rating 10 Reviews

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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. Watching over them is the resort's director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired bodies and minds.

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what is about to hit them...

With her wit, compassion and uncanny understanding of human behaviour, Liane Moriarty explores the depth of connection that can be formed when people are thrown together in... unconventional circumstances.

"One of the few writers I'll drop anything for. Her books are wise, honest, beautifully observed..." Jojo Moyes

"Moriarty is a deft storyteller who creates believable, relatable characters." Washington Post

"Moriarty is brilliant at her craft, all the time cranking up the suspense." The Age

Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson:

There is a certain kind of comfort that comes from settling down with a Liane Moriarty novel. In many ways, you know exactly what you’re going to get - complex characters in sticky situations, brimming with under-the-surface tension - but what you can never predict is just how the drama will unfold. There’s no mistaking that inimitable Moriarty style, and I’m happy to report that her latest novel, Nine Perfect Strangers, has it in spades.

Liane is the queen of the domestic thriller, but with Nine Perfect Strangers she lays her considerable talents to skewering the “wellness” industry and its hypocrisies. Nine (not-so) perfect strangers meet at rural resort Tranquillum House, some hoping for a miracle while others are just there to run away from their problems. They’re anticipating ten days of hot stone massages, yoga and green smoothies, but for unconventional resort director Masha, nothing short of total self-reinvention will do. To say any more would be to spoil the book’s many surprises, but rest assured that you can expect some truly outlandish twists.

The plot may be sensational, but it’s the unique cast of characters that makes Nine Perfect Strangers really tick. This cast is a motley bunch, including a romance novelist fading into obscurity, a young couple with more money than sense, and a divorced mother with terrible self-esteem brought on by middle-age and her ex-husband’s younger, prettier wife. Self-absorbed and vulnerable they may be, but Moriarty is an intelligent writer who never lets these characters become caricatures. Instead, she lets them ridicule and redeem themselves in little ways, weaving their stories together so that their vulnerabilities rub up against each other. Judgments are made, alliances are formed, and prejudices are slowly softened, and Moriarty captures it all with unflinching compassion. You can’t help but root for these lovable strangers despite their failings.

A new Liane Moriarty novel is always cause for celebration and Nine Perfect Strangers is the triumph we’ve all been waiting for since Truly, Madly, Guilty. Unpredictable and wild as it can be, this book will leave you with one irrefutable grain of wisdom: that self-delusion is a hell of a drug, even when it’s dressed in yoga pants.

Contemporary fiction
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Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist's Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies.
Film rights to What Alice Forgot have been pre-empted by Sony TriStar with Jennifer Aniston starring as Alice. 
The Husband's Secret has sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and is set to be translated into over 40 languages. CBS Films has acquired the film rights. 
With the launch of her most recent novel, Big Little Lies, which has sold over one million copies in the US alone, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Rights have been acquired by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon who will both take roles in the TV production, scripted by David E Kelley, with HBO winning the screen rights after a battle with Netflix. 
Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a children's book series, The Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella, The Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble and The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy
Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.

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Based on 10 reviews

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10 Reviews

Reading each chapter about the nine people was interesting, but when the story became about the actual experiment being inflicted on the participants it was quite bizarre. I would not recommend the book.

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A group of strangers turn up to a ten day wellness retreat. All looking for something different, the answer to life, calmness, no more worries, who knows. All need to relax and chill out on every level for they are a motley crew. They all want something to change. Careful what you wish for!

This group dynamic is what makes this book a laugh and cringe a minute. Not sure I would stay at such a retreat if any of this lot turned up. But that's what makes the whole affair fun to read about. (You can shut the book, pretend its the sauna door and smile as you imagine them in there sweating it out)

The spa is not your normal kind of spa either - it seems to like testing its clients in more ways than you could imagine. Interesting....

All in all, it's a bit slow, a locked room character study rather than a book with a gripping plot or sense of place. There's a lot of viewpoints but stick with it as it's a fun ride.

Might make you not want to head to a spa in the new year though!

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As I attend yoga classes and I've been to a wellness centre in NZ I found this book interesting. Incidentally after reading the book I still attend yoga classes but haven't managed a week away at a wellness centre. I like Liane Moriarty's books for a light interesting read and this one was no exception.

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