Review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Perfect StrangersAll the ingredients are here to make Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers another standout — brilliant characters, sharp insight into human relationships, and laugh-out loud wit but this time round, an unconvincing, and in my eyes, an outlandish plot twist — the actions of a certain character, preposterously villainous, almost James Bond-ish — marred the final third. Don’t get me wrong; Nine Perfect Strangers is as addictive a page-turner as Moriarty’s other work, and I loved spending my time in the heads of these nine (perfect) strangers during their ill-fated ten-day retreat; but this time round, the plot just felt a little too obviously manipulated.

As always with a Liane Moriarty novel, the plot is deceptively simple. In the case of Nine Perfect Strangers, nine stressed city dwellers —  burdened by a smorgasbord of worries — arrive at  Tranquillum House, which promises healing and transformation. Every attendee hopes to be transformed and reinvigorated: romance novelist Frances, for example, has just been mightily stung by an online scammer; while Napoleon, Heather and their daughter are still struggling to come to terms with the death of their son. The resort director watching over them is a woman named Masha; and she is not to be trifled with. A former hot-shot corporate type with a tragic past, she is determined to reshape her clients — no matter what the cost.

Although it deals with some heavy themes, the laugh-out-loud humour that regularly punctuates interactions between the cast makes Nine Perfect Strangers an absolute blast from start to finish. It’s a sharp-eyed, often touching portrait of the fractured lives of disparate strangers, and the unlikely ties that bind them together. Despite my  misgivings about a certain plot element, there is no denying Liane Moriarty’s irresistible storytelling. This is pure, riotous entertainment from start to finish.

4 Star

ISBN: 9781743534922
Format: Paperback (233mm x 154mm x mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Macmillan Australia
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publish Date: 18-Sep-2018
Country of Publication: Australia

5 responses to “Review: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty”

  1. […] Synopsis: Marketed as the perfect spot to turn over a new leaf, Tranquilium House is a luxurious and remote health resort. Ready for a change, nine strangers gather together for their life-changing stay. Could these ten days of pampering, relaxation and mindfulness have all the answers they are seeking? Or is much more going on? Would it be better to leave this resort and never look back? Or is it already too late? Liane Moriarty writes some of the best fiction books to read, and she has likely penned another book club favorite. Read the full review. […]

  2. Probably the silliest book I’ve ever read. Pity the author did not have a kindly publisher (like that of her character Frances) who ditched it before it reached the printer.

    • I cannot believe that Liane Moriarty wrote this book. Absolutely horrible. I agree with the comment from a previous review. Wish Moriary had had Frances’ publisher! Her other books made me love her style. What happened? Did she get a hold of the LSD?

  3. I was to,d not to bother with this but Sisters Book Club International had started it..so I took the audio version.
    So the location set in the Hunter Valley where we have wonderfully calming memories, sees this far fetched plot happen. I sped the audio up to 1.5 then double timeto complete it. Was there one character that was genuine ? Maybe the daughter / twin to the deceased brother.
    Don’t waste your time.

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