There are a group of authors that when they write a book – I don’t need to know much about it. I know from experience it is going to be good. Liane Moriarty is one of those authors.
Nine Strangers sign up to attend a 10-Day Health Resort Retreat called Tranquillum House. All have different reasons for attending: lose weight, find themselves, reboot, peace, etc. After all, how could one really resist an add that promotes a 10-Day Mind and Body Total Transformation Retreat?
At first, everyone pretty much keeps to themselves. Beyond the (mandatory) daily smoothies, meditations and special diet they eye one another suspiciously. Then they began to talk – too much according to the Proprietress, Masha, who hand picked the retreat attendees. Masha seems to have an underlining agenda and methodically moves her guests through the 10-days almost as though they were puppets being worked by her hand.
As the retreat moves along and the guests start to have questions – they all pinpoint on one. Should they run while they still have the chance?
“Women and their bodies! The most abusive and toxic of relationships. Masha had seen women pinch at the flesh of their stomachs with such brutal self-loathing they left bruises. Meanwhile their husbands fondly patted their won much larger stomachs with rueful pride.”
I tend to listen to Moriarty’s books rather than read them as she has an amazing narrator. Caroline Lee, who narrated Moriarty’s other books: The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty) has just the right amount of snark for Moriarty’s often fun and quirky characters.
Nine Perfect Strangers started out differently than the others I have listened to. The start up felt – well slow, and it took me a while to get into what was happening. Usually her books grab me right away, this one took a wee bit longer… once everyone arrived at the retreat, it started to get interesting. What was going to happen? Everyone was so different… why did Masha act so strange? What the %$*@ was in that smoothie she insisted that everyone drink every day?
In the end, I enjoyed the story. There were a few laugh out loud moments and once again Moriarty has created something unusual using trendy topics and real life issues. Recommended for Moriarty fans and I highly recommend if you have not tried her on audio to do so.
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