Can a health retreat really change your life forever? This is the premise of Liane Moriarty’s new book and it’s a corker. Vintage Moriarty, she brings together a group of people in a fairly innocuous setting – this time a health retreat so straying slightly from her typically suburban setting – and switches between story threads and characters with ease, as secrets and back stories are revealed, before walloping you in the face with a twist that you just don’t see coming!
So, did I enjoy it? Hell yes, I enjoyed it muchily, boshed it in an afternoon, sprinting through the pages at the end as I desperately wanted to know how the interwoven stories would conclude, which is always a good sign isn’t it?! So, if you’re thinking of giving it a read, here’s my short, sharp review of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers.
In a nutshell, I really enjoyed her latest offering. I genuinely loved the characters; the aging novelist whose career is waning and who has enjoyed a fairly superficial life, gone through 2 husbands, survived an online dating scam but who still yearns for the romance that she writes about; the gay lawyer who treats retreats like spa days and is battling his inner demons and commitment issues; a single mum with 4 girls and crippling low self-esteem after her divorce and being passed over for a younger model; the family who have come together to heal after a devastating tragedy; an aging, overweight ‘has been’ footie star who appears to be battling a secret illness; a young couple who have recently come into a great deal of money and been changed because of it – and not for the better – and the fabulous, retreat leader turned psycho Masha with her adoring assistant Yao, who are about to unleash a brand-new treatment program on their unsuspecting guests with disturbing effects.
All in all, it’s an easy read but more than that; it’s a beautiful exploration of human emotions encompassing tragedy, despair, egotism, narcissism, hope and crippling doubt. The way that she constructs her characters is a real strength of Moriarty’s work and why I enjoy her novels so much; she just does it so well, giving her characters flaws which are believable and raw and distinct voices, with which they tell their stories.
Is it as good as my Liane Moriarty faves The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies? I don’t think so, but it’s certainly up there and one that I’ll tell my school mum friends about.
If you’d like any more book reviews/recommendations, have a squizz at the Books section of my website as there’s sure to be something to tickle your fancy. I’ll be back soon with a review of an Australian thriller, written by a new and exciting Aussie author, so watch this space.