I know that Liane Moriarty is pretty big right now, but I’d never read any of her books before. So when I saw Nine Perfect Strangers for a good price in Sainsbury’s, I though I would give it a go. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Nine strangers (although technically they’re no all strangers from each other as some are married or family) go to a luxury retreat, trying to change their lives. They want to get healthy, get slim or improve their relationships. For 10 days, they are unable to leave Tranquillum House.
Frances has a bad back and a bad cold and wants to feel better about herself. Ben and Jessica want to save their marriage. But why does a man as cheerful as Napoleon need to be there, with his active wife and his young daughter?
Right from the start, Nine Perfect Strangers has quite a sinister feel, and it gets increasingly sinister as it goes along. With a cast of lead characters, rather than just one, it is told from several perspectives. Over the course of 10 days, we get to know the guests and staff of Tranquillum House, and they get to know each other. And they soon learn that there is no perfection and that changing their lives might be more brutal than they were expecting…
This is an intriguing and well written story, with characters you come to care about, even if they’re not always likeable. It actually features one of the scariest characters I’ve come across in a long time. There are plenty of twists along the way and I surprised myself by shedding a tear at the end. It’s really not the sort of book where you expect to shed a tear, but I think that just shows how invested in the characters I became.
If you enjoy a psychological thriller, like I do, I would definitely recommend Nine Perfect Strangers. I will certainly be looking out for more Liane Moriarty to read this year.