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Monday, December 31, 2018

Moriarty's Newest Another Disappointing Non-Charmer

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The benefits reaped from a visit to Tranquillium House, a remote boutique health and wellness resort, are touted far and wide.  It's a place designed for anyone in need of healing, whether from a toxic diet, a stressful job, or an emotional upset.  Although its methodology is kept quite hush-hush, Tranquillium House has a reputation for being a revolutionary, life-changing facility.  

One week, nine strangers come to the resort for varying reasons.  Some need a health makeover, others a marital one, and still others a chance to reboot and refocus.  As the guests get to know each other, they begin to discover each other's secrets.  But it's the owner of the resort that is the most intriguing.  When the resort goers start to wonder about Masha Dmitrichenko's unconventional methods, they begin asking themselves the most important question—just who is this woman?  With things at Tranquillium House becoming more disturbing by the day, the guests must ask themselves whether they should trust in the process or run while they still can ...

I love Liane Moriarty's books, so I get excited every time a new one comes out.  Since I didn't care much for the author's last one, I've been hoping her newest would charm me the way novels like What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies did.  Did I get my wish with Nine Perfect Strangers?  Not exactly.  I didn't despise it the way a lot of readers and reviewers did, but I didn't love it nearly as much as I wanted to.  Like all of Moriarty's novels, Nine Perfect Strangers is sharp and funny, with some astute and thought-provoking observations about human nature.  The characters are complex and interesting enough, without being overly original.  As far as plot ... there's not a lot.  There's suspense, of course, as the guests try to figure out what, if anything, is really going on at the resort, but that's kind of it.  I kept waiting for an And Then There Were None kind of situation, but in that I was disappointed.  The story definitely picks up toward the end, but a lot of readers may not last that long.  In the end, then, I liked Nine Perfect Strangers well enough to finish it, although I certainly did not love it.  Like other Moriarty fans, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her next book will hearken back to the good old days when the author produced sharp, funny novels that were also charming, moving, engrossing, and satisfying.  Here's hoping ...

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day and Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, sexual innuendo, and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Nine Perfect Strangers from Barnes & Noble with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. I was ok with LM's last book (Hypnotist is my least favorite to date), but I keep seeing meh reviews for this one. It makes me sad.

  2. I agree with you . I liked this more than her last but didn't love it like her old books. I enjoyed the characters but was left wanting more from the plot.


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