Publication: 4th October 2018 – Michael Joseph
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.
Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.
Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.
For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.
These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .
I have been waiting for a long time for a new novel by Liane Moriarty so I was really excited when I received a book proof of her new novel, NINE PERFECT STRANGERS, for which I’d like to thank Gaby Young at Michael Joseph. This is different from the author’s previous novels, it was nothing at all what I expected, but in a good way, because I loved it and I read the entire novel (more than 400 pages) in less than two days. The plot is full of suspense and there is always a creepy feeling that kept me on the edge the entire time I was reading.
At the center of the story there are nine people, a cast of completely different and complex characters that have one thing in common: they have booked a ten-day stay at the health resort Tranquillum House to improve their health and their minds. There is the married couple hoping to save their marriage, the middle-age woman who wants to forget her problems both in her love and professional life, the mother-of-four divorcée who wants to lose weight, the health junkie lawyer, the grieving family, and the man trying to get his life back on track. These nine people entrust their lives to Masha, the owner of Tranquillum House who, together with her assistants Yao and Delilah, has created a program to improve their physical and mental health. But, between days of complete silence, healthy smoothies, and fasting, these nine strangers start to feel that something is not completely right at Tranquillum House.
The author created well-developed and relatable characters, each with their secrets, fears, and hopes. They are introduced slowly, one by one, so that the pages don’t feel overcrowded and confusing. Each character tells their side of the story so that the readers get the full picture. Even though the readers know exactly what is going on, there are still surprises and a few twists that will keep them on the edge of their seats.
NINE PERFECT STRANGER is a novel about loss, grief, love, addiction, and guilt, but I wouldn’t know how to categorize it. There is suspense, but there is also humor and witticism that will make you laugh and heartbreaking moments that will make you cry. What I can say is that it’s engaging, gripping, well-plotted, and immersive, and it proves, once again, that Liane Moriarty is a brilliant author who knows exactly what she is doing.