Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out...

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 ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft. (from

My Thoughts

I didn't love this book. I listened to the audiobook and there were quite a few things that bothered me. Most of the characters were unlikeable and the way the audiobook narrator did the voices for the characters made them feel even worse! I started out listening to this book on 1.5x speed but eventually moved all the way up to 2.10x speed. Haha. I just didn't want to give up because I was curious about where the story would go, but it was just way too long to listen to on regular speed.

To be fair, I'll make a list of what I liked and what I disliked. It truly is a unique story, even if it did go way far off in a direction that was illogical and hard to believe.

What I Liked:

  • The setting. As an American, I like Australian accents. Haha. Sue me.
  • The idea. A story set at a health retreat is a really cool idea. As you can imagine, all of the characters in this story meet at Tranquillum House, but that is pretty much the only thing they have in common. Each character is going through their own rough patch in life, and brings something different to the table.
  • The ending. I felt like the author did a good job of wrapping up this truly wild and insane book.

What I Didn't Like:

  • If I had listened to this audiobook on normal speed, it would have taken me 13 hours. That is way too long. It felt like there were a lot of character descriptions that were unnecessary. Certain scenes felt unnecessary to moving the plot along. This book could have been condensed in editing but for whatever reason they chose not to, and I think that weakened the book in the long run.
  • The audiobook narrator. To be fair, she might have been perfectly fine. But the characters were already annoying so when she did different voices for different people (like, she had this high pitched way of talking for Jessica) it was just very off putting and I had to turn down the volume.
  • The insanity. The book is just trudging along for a very long time and then about 50% through there's a plot twist that changes everything. I just didn't see any way that it all made sense.
  • I feel like to run the kind of business Masha does, she must have some kind of checks and balances system where there's somebody kind of looking over her business and making sure that things are running properly. At least in the real world I feel like it would be that way. Like there would be a president of the company or business advisor or someone who met with Masha on the regular to talk about finances and her business and the structure of her retreats.
  • All the Jessica hate. I feel like the author really made fun of her, just because of the fact that she's Instagram famous and aspires to live a 'gram-worthy life, when deep down she's really insecure and has her own set of issues.
  • The retreat was pretty insane from day 1, so I'm not sure why some of the smarter characters didn't just check out right away and go home. Lol.

I wasn't really feeling this book for much of my listening time, but now that I'm done with it I can reflect better on the story. I think it was an interesting idea that just wasn't executed in the best way. The cast is diverse and the characters are unique, but the writing just felt diluted, like there were so many extra words and scenes that didn't need to be there.

There's a show on Hulu that I'm looking forward to checking out, that is based off this book. I'm looking forward to seeing how closely they follow the plot of the book. And even if it's not good, it has Melissa McCarthy in it so at least there's that.