Nine Perfect Strangers
by Moriarty, Liane






Gathering at a remote health resort for a 10-day fitness program, nine strangers and their enigmatic host become subjects of interest to a brokenhearted novelist who develops uncomfortable doubts about the resort's real agenda.





Liane Moriarty is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, and Truly Madly Guilty, the New York Times bestsellers What Alice Forgot and The Last Anniversary, and The Hypnotist's Love Story and Three Wishes. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.





Moriarty (Truly Madly Guilty, 2016) continues her exploration of characters with comfortable lives who can't help but make themselves uncomfortable. This time she takes on nine guests at a wellness retreat: a romance writer who is fading in popularity; a young married couple; a very handsome lawyer; a teacher, his wife, and their adult daughter; a divorced mother; and a familiar-looking middle-aged man. Tranquillum House, a nineteenth-century mansion in the middle of nowhere in Australia, has been converted to a well-guarded sanctuary, with yoga rooms, fruit smoothies, and an aggressively beautiful leader. Masha Dmitrichenko, emboldened by past success, plans to initiate this group into her new protocol, one that will shake up the wellness world. It's hard to share details, since each reveal is a delicious surprise. Like she did in Big Little Lies? (2014), Moriarty uses several narrators to tell the whole tale, and though some story lines get more attention than others, readers will find themselves flipping through the nearly 500 pages. But even at that length, Nine Perfect Strangers is so well written and slyly constructed that it won't feel like enough. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moriarty's considerable fan base has waited two long years for this one, so be prepared. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





Nine people gather at a luxurious health resort in the Australian bushland. Will they have sex, fall in love, get killed, or maybe just lose weight?Moriarty (Truly Madly Guilty, 2014, etc.) is known for darkly humorous novels set in the suburbs of Sydney—though her most famous book, Big Little Lies (2014), has been transported to Monterey, California, by Reese Witherspoon's HBO series. Her new novel moves away from the lives of prosperous parents to introduce a more eclectic group of people who've signed up for a 10-day retreat at Tranquillium House, a remote spa run by the messianic Masha, "an extraordinary-looking woman. A supermodel. An Olympic athlete. At least six feet tall, with corpse-like white skin and green eyes so striking and huge they were almost alien-like." This was the moment when the guests should probably have fled, but they all decided to stay (perhaps because their hefty payments were nonrefundable?). The book's title is slightly misleading, since no t all the guests are strangers to each other. There are two family groups: Ben and Jessica Chandler, a young couple whose relationship broke down after they won the lottery, and the Marconis, Napolean and Heather and their 20-year-old daughter, Zoe, who are trying to recover after the death of Zoe's twin brother, Zach. Carmel Schneider is a divorced housewife who wants to get her mojo back, Lars Lee is an abnormally handsome divorce lawyer who's addicted to spas, and Tony Hogburn is a former professional footballer who wants to get back into shape. Though all these people have their own chapters, the main character is Frances Welty, a romance writer who needs a pick-me-up after having had her latest novel rejected and having been taken in by an internet scam—she fell in love with a man she met on Facebook and sent money to help his (nonexistent) son, who'd been in a (nonexistent) car accident. How humiliating for a writer to fall for a fictional person, Frances thinks, in her characteristically wry way. When the guests arrive, they're given blood tests (why?) and told they're going to start off with a five-day "noble silence" in which they're not even supposed to make eye contact with each other. As you can imagine, something fishy is going on, and while Moriarty displays her usual humor and Frances in particular is an appealing character, it's all a bit ridiculous. Fun to read, as always with Moriarty's books, but try not to think about it or it will stop making sense. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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