- Read Date: October 6, 2019
- Rating: 3/5
- Format: Audiobook
When, you guessed it, nine perfect strangers convene at a luxury health resort to detox, cleanse, and ultimately hit the reset button on their lives, they begin to discover that there is far more to Tranquillum House than meets the eye.
For the first 20% or so, Nine Perfect Strangers really confused me. Not plot-wise, that’s all pretty straightforward, but just in its themes and construction, etc. This is only my second read from Liane Moriarty (the first obviously being Big Little Lies) so I’m not very familiar with her as an author, and something about Nine Perfect Strangers was largely un-quantifiable. Is it contemporary fiction? Is it a thriller? Dare we call it chick lit? I still don’t actually know.
The exposition starts off very strongly, with identifiable definition between the voices of each of the *many* characters and a very descriptive introduction of Tranquillum House itself. Frequent visitors here will know that distinction of voice is something I really value, especially in stories that have a lot of characters. Moriarty achieves this very effectively and develops these characters very well and with much clarity. The only exception to this, for me, is Masha, the eccentric owner of Tranquillum House, who (not really a spoiler but like maybe a little bit????) goes COMPLETELY off the deep end at one point in a way that seems largely unprecedented. However, 12/13 really strong characters is a pretty solid win.
Speaking of Masha’s dive into Crazytown… the book sort of starts to fall apart for me about 2/3 through and things get a little bit far-fetched. Perhaps this is all connected to my inability to really determine what kind of book this is (I know that’s a vague statement, but you know what I mean!), but I just never felt the buy-in, so when things got a little zany I had a hard time investing.
In summation, I feel quite ambivalent about this one. I’ll certainly read another Moriarty in the future, and I didn’t necessarily dislike Nine Perfect Strangers, but it was in the middle of the road for me. It had some VERY strong strengths and a few weaknesses, but, of course, this is all subjective! Did you love this book? Let me know below! Were you also lukewarm? Let me know that below too!
Well I thank you kindly for stopping by, and I wish you luck in your reading challenges, and, as always, happy reading!