This weeks book review is Liane Moriarty's newest novel Nine Perfect Strangers. I am a fan of Moriarty's previous novels so I was excited about the new release. The premise to the novel was fascinating. Nine people arrive at a health resort looking for relief from the hardships of life. From the onset, the health resort is odd. Bags are search, items are confiscated, and for five days, there is no speaking. Throughout the novel, the reader peers inside the lives of the nine strangers - what brought them there and the ghosts they are trying to leave behind. From there, the story takes a dramatic turn as the leader of the facility has incorporated extremely alternative therapeutic protocols.
There were times while reading the book, I gasped in disbelief. I thoroughly loved the first half of the novel. So much so, that I told everyone who would listen to run out and buy the book. I couldn't foresee anything going wrong with the novel. Great premise and every better writing. I will say Liane Moriarty's writing is phenomenal. What was lacking in the second half of the book was the storytelling. I wanted more character back-story so I could connect with someone in the story. In all honesty, the character I liked the best was Marsha, the insane and very unpredictable owner and leader of the health resort. Though Marsha was most certainly unstable and possible outright crazy, the reader actually felt as if we knew her and could understand her motives (not condone her motives, just understand her). I believe if more time was spent delving deeper into the characters lives and less on the antics at the health resort in the second half of the novel, this would have been one of my favorite all-time reads. Unfortunately, I did have retract my recommendation of Nine Perfect Strangers to the many people I raved to when I was halfway through.
What Others are Saying
"Liane Moriarty can write books you can hardly put down, like The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies, but not all her books are as good as that and unfortunately this is one of the not-so-good ones. While it's still very readable, the story is silly and unsatisfying. It has an enormous build up with not a lot of payoff."
"This book has such great potential for an entertaining read. Until Book Two, I loved the characters and their siege-like situation. The dark humor had me laughing, and my fear and loathing of wellness centers was vindicated. Lianne Moriarty seemed to have lost her way somewhere in the middle of her story. "
"I love the way that Liane writes and as always she has chosen some topical themes to explore. But the book needed more shape and it definitely needed a stronger story line to sustain it."
Other Books by Liane Moriarty
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