Publish Date: November 6, 2018
“In ten days, you will not be the person you are now.” — Nine Perfect Strangers
Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these 10 days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next 10 days are going to be.
Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? These nine perfect strangers are about to find out…
“Nothing stays the same.” — Nine Perfect Strangers
Nine people from all walks of life are guests at a swanky 10 day wellness retreat that promises to be transformative. They are all here for different reasons that bring them to Tranquillum House – weight loss, stress, a stagnant career, addiction, low self-esteem, couples therapy. They have high hopes that in their time here, a miracle will occur, and enlightenment will happen which brings them a new outlook on life.
Tranquillum House has everything that I’d expect in a Zen retreat: hot springs, spiritual nourishment, mandatory green smoothies, noble silences, guided meditations, wellness treatments, and a digital free environment. This place has strict rules, too. Guests are not allowed to have phones, tablets, wifi, drugs, alcohol, or refined sugar. These items are confiscated at the beginning of their stay if they are smuggled in.
The premise is very thought-provoking, and it made me think of my [bad] habits, my [unhealthy] vices, my [annoying] ticks, and what I’d improve for myself given the opportunity. I would definitely benefit from a stay at the Tranquillum House; at least for some of it!
I loved the wide range of characters in this book and they are very well developed. There are likeable characters and ones that I loved to hate. Each person has flaws. I enjoyed getting to know them all. Frances, a guest and one of the main characters, has a self-deprecating sense of humor that is very funny and endearing. Masha, the retreat director, is a calculating sociopath. Her guests are in for many surprises and twists during their stay. And no one will ever be the same after these 10 days. As with all of Liane Moriarty’s books, this story is more of a character study where the development of the characters is more important than the plot.
This book is about self-discovery, vices, secrets, lies, insecurities, grief, spiritual health, family, marriage, hot “flushes”, money, and greed. It has the humor and wit that Liane Moriarty injects into every single one of her books. I laughed out loud many times.
I like this book much better than Liane Moriarty’s last book, Truly Madly Guilty. I enjoyed that one, but it was just meh for me. Fans of Liane Moriarty will always be comparing her new books to Big Little Lies and let’s be honest…. the bar is pretty high. I think that this one comes close.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars