Book Review

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty

Rating: 3 / 5

I added NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty to my TBR for September after seeing it announced as a buddy read on Instagram. It is a book that has been on my shelf for a while and fit well into my goal of reading books I already owned. I actually wound up reading most of the book via audio, but picked up the text as well from time to time. I have read several of the authors’s other books and enjoyed them (most notably BIG LITTLE LIES and WHAT ALICE FORGOT), so we eager to give this one a shot even though I didn’t know much about it.

As the title implies NINE PERFECT STRANGERS begins with a random grouping of nine strangers, including a family of three, a couple and four individuals who are all attending a ten day health retreat. Each has a different reason for being here from weight loss to a total life reset. but these individuals have no clue what they’re getting into. With restricted diets, mandatory silence and required smoothies, the brand of therapy offed at Tranquillum House is clearly unique and things just get more bizarre from there.

The story is written in alternating chapters from the points of view of the guests and some of the staff. Over time, the author slowly reveals more about the characters’ pasts and the surprising methods that Tranquillum’s director will put in play to transform these strangers’ lives. There are trigger warnings for suicide and drug abuse in this narrative.

This is a very hard book to review because I came to the end not entirely sure if I enjoyed the book as a whole! I really like the author’s writing and that makes this an easy read. She mixes serious subjects which make you feel for the characters with very humorous moments throughout as well. There are a lot of characters and voices to keep up with, especially in the beginning and the book did a pretty good job of distinguishing them between chapters. That said, there were some characters that I had a harder time connecting to.

The story is definitely a slow burn, focusing in great depth on character development instead of plot, especially in the beginning. The book does well at keeping you hooked with twists along the way and I was definitely invested in continuing to read to figure out where this story was going!

I guess, in summary, I am a fan of Liane Moriarty and I do recommend you pick up her writing. I just don’t think that this book would be the one that I’d recommend first.

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