BOOK CLUB: Nine Perfect Strangers

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Author: Liane Moriarty
ISBN: 9781743534922
RRP: $32.99
Publication Date: 18 September 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Liane Moriarty is a bestselling Australian author with a large fan following who love her writing style and deft story telling. Big Little Lies debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list and has been adapted for television, the series won a host of Emmy Awards and screened early last year. Big Little Lies may just be the first of Moriarty’ works to be adapted to screen, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out to watch what comes next.

Nine Perfect Strangers is the latest Liane Moriarty release and it is already garnering some pretty rave reviews on Goodreads. We have thirty of our members delving into the book this month and I know some are huge fans, there was great interest in the book so I look forward to reading what they all think.

Nine Perfect Strangers takes a group of stressed citysiders to a health and wellness resort called Tranquillum House and promises total transformation.

The retreat participants are keen to immerse themselves in the calming atmosphere, soak up the hot stone massages and drop their baggage.

The resort’s director is a woman determined to reinvigorate bodies and minds and these nine perfect strangers have no idea what they have let themselves in for.

Moriarty user her trademark wit and compassion alongside her ability to understand and explore human behaviour and the connections that can be forged in trying circumstances.

If this is anything like the other works of Moriarty I have read, or watched in the case of Big Little Lies, then I am sure I’m going to love it; and I’m sure there’s going to be twists and turns and a whole lot of the unexpected. I look forward to it, and reading what our members have to say.

You can follow Liane Moriarty on Facebook and her Website.

Thanks to Pan MacMillan 30 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading and reviewing Nine Perfect Strangers so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

Nine Perfect Strangers is available now through Pan MacMillan, Booktopia, Angus & Robertson and where all good books are sold.

35 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Nine Perfect Strangers

  1. I love Liane Moriarty books. I feel like I instantly connect with the characters and know them all quite well. This book has a simple premise. Nine strangers (well, technically six as three are in a family) go to a health retreat. Each with a story, each with a past. The key character was Frances. A fabulously easy-going, funny woman who you would love to be a big part of your friendship group and have lunch with on the weekend. The other characters’ stories were explored, but we heart mainly from Frances.

    The health retreat sounded marvellous – until it didn’t. The story line wasn’t as intense as other reviewers are saying – I wouldn’t put it in the category of psychological thriller. I read a lot of crime and psychological thrillers, and this was very tame by all standards. However, it was a rollicking read, kept me thoroughly immersed and I read it in two days… even though I had a huge assignment due in!

    Highly recommended. Easy reading, with fabulous insights about the human psyche as usual.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace for the opportunity to read and review.

  2. This book was very interesting. Nine strangers were sent to a health resort for different reasons. It was a book that you could put it down because one minute you were in it and the next you weren’t. The strangers were interesting at times.

  3. What an awesome book! I’ve read all of Liane Moriarty’s books and was really looking forward to this one, so I was very excited when I was given the opportunity to review it. I was a bit nervous about starting ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ because even though I had no idea what it was about, I’d built it up so much in my head and I didn’t want to be disappointed. Well, I had no need to worry. There were interesting characters, an un-put-down-able story line and a very satisfactory ending. I was left feeling very satisfied and content Thank you so much Beauty and Lace for another wonderful book to review >:o)

  4. Nine perfect strangers, as expected, is just as wonderful as Liane Moriarty’s other novels.

    9 strangers are thrust together in a health resort, all on different journeys and are challenged by Masha’s (the resort director) health program. The story delves into their lives, their successes and failures and we come to an understanding that in the end we all suffer in our own way from life’s heartaches and disappointments.

    A fantastic setting, endearing & quirky characters, a great plot twist and an inability for the reader to put down the story is exactly what Liane has delivered again. Looking forward to the TV/movie adaptation.

  5. Firstly I’d like to thank Pan Macmillan and Beaty and Lace book club for giving me the opportunity to review this book. Please be aware that there may be some spoilers in my review. I received my copy of Nine Perfect Strangers with great anticipation. As a lover of Liane Moriarty I was looking forward to seeing what her newest work would bring, having not heard or read any reviews of the book before receiving it.

    One of the things that I love most about Liane’s writing is her ability to make her characters human, and relatable. And this book was no different. As you read you can identify traits or ways of thinking in each of the characters that you can see in yourself. In the same sort of style as her book ‘Three Wishes’ the book is told from the point of view of several of the main characters, which allows you to more fully understand who they are, and how they perceive certain scenarios. Arguably Frances is the main character of the book, as I felt like you heard from her more than the others.

    In essence, Nine Perfect Strangers is about how a group of people come together at a health retreat, Tranquillum House which is set in rural Australia, and how their lives have led each of them to the point of seeking refuge there. Whether the stress of work, family, finances or health, they all attend hoping for some sort of transformation from the retreat, which is rumoured to be somewhat radical, but life changing. Little do they know that their facilitator has decided that for this particular group, she is going to try treatments which are completely new, and, she believes, will be wildly successful.

    As I was reading I was waiting for the twist, but I was kind of left hanging. The book certainly went off on a tangent that I certainly wasn’t expecting, but the path to get there was fairly linear. And then right in the last few pages the perspective shifts again and Liane breaks the fourth wall and starts addressing the ‘Dear Reader’. I was left feeling a little discombobulated by the end and I feel like the book was just ‘OK’. I’d probably recommend it to friends as a light read, but with the qualifier that I don’t think it was as good as some of her other work.

  6. Love it! Love it! Love it!

    Nine Perfect Strangers is about a group of people, each with their own personal issues, who attend a health resort called Tranquillum House with promises of changing their lives forever.

    The characters were all very interesting, but most especially the main character, Frances who I absolutely loved!

    Liane Moriarty has cleverly written a funny and very engaging story. Her ability to delve into human behaviour should be commended. I am definitely a fan!

    I thoroughly recommend this book. Thank you very much Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this amazing novel.

  7. Liane Moriarty you have done it again! What a fantastic read. Guaranteed to entertain you!!!

    Nine strangers wanted a place to escape, a place to become healthy and happy again. Tranquillum House, a retreat, had promised this and more. Misha, the director, was going to do everything in her power for her clients to achieve his. But did she go too far?

    I’ll be honest the first half of the book went a bit slow. Introducing the characters and their stories but then it all changed!!! I couldn’t put the book down, soaking in the words on the page. I truly enjoyed the ending. It left me satisfied in every sense!!!

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace for allowing me to read this exciting book which I’m sure will be another best seller.

  8. Thanks for the opportunity to read Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.

    Wow what a book! Ok so as we know 9 people go to a health resort for a 10 day stay. Each has their own issues which are revealed as the story unfolds. Masha the owner of the resort also has an interesting history and ideas…which become clear over time. Her staff members Lao and Delilah also figure in the story. The story is told from the perspectives of the nine strangers, Masha and staff.

    This is an engaging story but I will be honest, it went to places I wasnt expecting. That said, I couldn’t put the book down!

    Liane Moriarty is a skilled story teller and this is a great book. 10/10
    Thanks for the opportunity to read this book!

  9. It arrived late on a Tuesday afternoon – my first book to review. I snuggled into bed with the treasure and safely devoured the first three chapters. Never failing to please, Moriarty delivered brilliantly eloquent characters with just the perfect balance of humour and seriousness. I was giggling by page 18 when one of main characters, Frances, delivers this line “serial killer probably preferred his victims less sweaty”.

    This book made me laugh, cry, and gasp all within one chapter. The characters are very like-able (even the villians), and I felt like I could relate to each and every one in some way.

    After the juicy, main event, the story wanes a little, and I found myself re-reading sections because I felt like I missed the point. This was my 2nd Moriarty book, and I will absolutely seek out a third.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace for being the encouragement I needed to return to being a bookworm.

  10. So i wasnt sure what to expect going into this one, i am a big Liane Moriarty fan but had seen some mixed reviews.

    Well i started it …and couldnt put it down ( was a one night read for me)

    The premise- 9 strangers book into an elite health retreat, all for different reasons but they are all broken in mind/ body or spirit.
    In ten days they will leave, feeling happier, healthier- a better versions of themselves. (but will they )

    I really loved getting to know all these characters, their back stories and their developing relationships with the other retreat goers. The first half of the book is really a thorough introduction into their lives.

    It’s a bit hard to go into to much detail about the storyline without giving away any spoilers , but i think the beauty of this book is that reading the blurb you really have no idea where this book is headed ( which is rare) …but i will say there is alot of humour,alot of sadness and you will care about the characters. …it’s just a fun read and i think Liane Moriarty probably had alot of fun writing it.

  11. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is about a motley crew of Aussies that sign up for a secluded Transformation resort. Each character comes with their own back story, middle-aged romance writer or recent family tragedy they all bring their quirky character and experiences to finish with a great plot twist.

    Highly recommended. Thank you B & L for the opportunity to read.

  12. Well . Nine perfect strangers .
    This book was definitely not for me . The middle was very sad,which slowed my reading. I was wanting it to end. I like a book with a happy uplifting story and a good feeling when the last page is turned. At the end there are warnings and a phone number for life line . This says it all .

  13. Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriartyfollows a group of guest who all check into ‘Tranquillum House’ Health retreat to all come out a better version of themselves. Each of the characters to come the house with their own trouble pasts and each chapter is written by a different character. As the story progress you start to get to know the characters very well and I think the more I got to know the characters the more I started to enjoy this story.

    I did find this book very slow to start and it did take me a bit to get into. I do encourage you to not give up at the start an power through as it does it very good. I did, in the end, find this book very hard to put down and It was extremely hard to pick where the storyline would go!

    Overall it is a good read after you get into the book.

    Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Beaty and Lace book club for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

  14. I haven’t read any of Liane Moriarty books, so therefore I was very grateful for the opportunity from Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan to read ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’.

    Going into this book, I had no expectations as I am not familiar with Liane’s books. The first thing that struck me about her writing is her ability to bring characters to lifer that are relatable. As I was reading, I was able to form a picture in my head of each and every character, starting from the Resort Manager ‘Masha’ through to each of the resort’s guests.

    If I am honest, initially it took me a while to get into the first part of the book, as I found it a little slow going, however once I got through that initial introduction of the characters, the story was far from slow going.

    Nine Perfect Strangers is a story about an elite health resort ‘Tranquillum House’ run by ‘Masha’ who promises to fix her guests in all aspects of mind, body and soul. Without going into too much detail and including spoilers, this story is a great read into human psyche and relationships. As you read along, you feel like you know each individual character and you feel what they feel and I found myself laughing along, cheering on and at times wanting to cry. I must admit, having never read Liane’s books before, I did thoroughly enjoy her ability to write characters in which you found endearing and in particular for me that was Frances.

    I wouldn’t go so far to say that this book is in the psychological thriller genre, though it certainly has a plot twist, however it is a thoroughly enjoyable read and certainly a page turner once you get past the initial introduction of the characters.

    Overall an enjoyable read.

  15. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was interesting and absorbing right to the end.
    At times it was really funny and others very sad.
    I found the writing style flowed well and it was great getting to know all the characters.
    Each had their own story and how they had arrived in the retreat including the staff running and working in the retreat and those coming to change their lives.
    I will definitely recommend Nine Perfect Strangers to family and friends and look forward to reading more books by Liane Moriarty.

  16. Love. Love. Love. 10/10

    Nine perfect strangers is a book that I picked up & didn’t want to put it down. The book hooked me from the beginning & I was really intrigued to see the story unfold.

    Early on in the book I realised napeleon and his family have an interesting story to tell and I am enjoyed reading as their journey unfolded.

    Francis is my favourite and her descriptions of her menopause symptoms make me giggle as it reminds me of my mother.

    Each time I read a chapter, I am convinced I would like a health retreat with a social media/technology detox – except when the book comes to an end. No health retreat for me!

  17. Thanks once again Beauty and Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.
    Well this was my first book by Liane that I have read although I do have all the others on my to be read pile – I found it rather slow at the beginning and then it picked up and I was turning pages waiting to see where it was going – 9 strangers (technically 6 as 3 are family members) meet at a health resort and basically bare their souls albeit reluctantly.
    An interesting read is all I will say.

  18. I cannot highly recommend Liane Moriarty’s books enough. I have read every single one of them since finding her years ago…. and this one did not disappoint.

    Liane’s story telling is always intriguing from the beginning to the end. Her books are easy to read yet not simple and ordinary. You want to keep reading to the end to the finale.

    The characters in her books are always described to the point that you can imagine and picture the characters.

    I am in the last few chapters of this book and cannot wait to find out what happens to these people who have gathered at Tranquillum House…

    Loved Frances. She was a hoot…
    Thank you beautyandlace for sending me a copy of a book I would have gone and purchased… highly recommended reading.

  19. Nine Perfect Strangers is Liane Moriarty’s new novel. It is set in a health resort where nine perfect strangers (although three are a family and there was a couple so they were not strangers to each other) meet to follow a program to become thinner, happier, and healthier in just a few days. Unfortunately the rather unorthodox methods of the resort take them down a route they were not expecting.
    This is the first novel of Liane’s that I’ve read and I was impressed. I enjoyed her writing style and how she introduced the characters. Where there are so many “main” characters (not just the Nine but also the health resorts founder and her assistants) it can get confusing as to who is who but Liane’s writing ensured that didn’t happen.
    It was interesting learning all the character’s back stories and wondering how, or if they were going to change during the story. It certainly made me think about what we often think of as important – like looks, being an ideal weight and how our lives would be better if we achieved these goals. It also addressed the “baggage” people carry from their childhood (real or imagined) and how grief can tear people apart.
    So as well as being a good enjoyable story it also had a few life messages to pass on.
    I did get a little frustrated when the experimental treatment they were subjected to went on and on – I felt it could have been tightened up and shortened.
    But I did thoroughly enjoy this novel, thanks to Beauty and Lace book club and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read this book. Now I’ve discovered Liane’s work I will certainly be seeking out more of her books.

  20. Nine perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is a story as the name says of nine Perfect Strangers that meet for the first time at Tranquillium House an elite retreat.

    It did take me a few chapters to get into the book and found the story to be quite slow but once past the introduction of the characters the story really started to change.

    The story follows the experience offered by Masha who promises to fix her guests in all aspect of their mind, body and soul. Over the period of the stay of 10 days the guests do many things that they would not do in their normal day to day lives. As I progressed through the story, I started to really feel that I was getting to know the characters especially Frances. It was interesting following all the characters stories from before they entered the retreat and wondering if they were going to change during and after they left the retreat. I didn’t really like the chapters around the experimental treatment as it just seemed for me to go on and on.

    An interesting read and not the type of story that I would normally choose but it was a great read.

  21. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.
    From the moment I opened the book I couldn’t put it down. It started by introducing us to different characters who were going to a 10 day health retreat at Tranquillum house and also the staff there.
    Each character had their own unique story and reason for needing to go to the retreat and the retreat sounded amazing.
    From the moment the guests arrived though things didn’t seem to add up. They were required to give blood every day, go through fasting rituals and even observe silences where they could not even speak to their partner if they had one.
    Each character tried to embrace it though and even admitted they started to feel better but then everything changed.
    They found they had been drugged the whole time and then had a period of being given different drugs in their smoothies and kept in a locked room where the wellness workers eventually left and the guests had to try to figure a way out.
    Through all of this they did learn a lot about themselves, just not quite in the way they expected.
    Once this had happened I felt it ended a bit abruptly but all loose ends were tied up.
    I guess I just wanted to keep reading.
    I definitely recommend Nine Perfect Strangers if you’re looking for a book that’s a bit different and draws you in.

  22. I have read every book Liane has written and loved them all, but this one started too slowly for me. I felt as though I had to meet everyone and hear a lot of backstory before anything happened.

    But once it turned that corner I was sucked right in – reading it over two nights. It was very easy to follow, usually having the narrator change so often causes confusion, with this novel, because of the short chapters, it wasn’t a struggle.

    I really had no idea what was going to happen so it was great to have the unexpectedness. However I did feel like it wrapped everything up in a pretty bow at the end and thought that was a little too perfect.

    I did love the little nod Brontë who is one of my all time favourites.

  23. Nine perfect strangers by Leanne Moriarty was an ineresting read. To be honest it took me a while to get into it but half way through the twist that occurred caught my attention and curiosity and finished in no time.
    Nine strangers that choose to attend a 10 day health retreat, each for thier own personal reasons. The book gives us the reason why each and everyone of them has made the choice to be there.
    An fantastic and enjjoyable read once I got into it….

  24. I was excited to receive Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers to read and review for Beauty and Lace. A few years ago when I read Big Little Lies I was absolutely hooked from the start and devoured it in no time at all. It was such a great read.

    Nine Perfect Strangers had many of the elements that I loved about Big Little Lies. The characters were really well crafted and relatable. A beautiful Australian setting and landscape. Multiple threads twined together. Also some humour thrown in for good measure. But while I really enjoyed this book, it didn’t quite grab me in the same way, and I also found the end a little confusing or somewhat detached as another reviewer has mentioned.

    So while in my opinion not quite reaching the lofty heights of her finest work, I will certainly recommend Nine Perfect Strangers as an enjoyable read with great characters. I hope to read more from Liane Moriarty. Thanks for the opportunity Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan.

  25. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is a fantastic read. I read Big Little Lies over a weekend and t I definitely wanted to read this book too. It did not disappoint.

    Although a bit slow in the beginning it definitely had me hooked. From the characters to the setting and the description of the Australian landscape.

    This is one book I would definitely recommend. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Pan MacMillan for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

  26. This is the first of Liane Moriarty’s books that I have read, and it certainly left me wanting to read more. Although I wasn’t selected to read and review this book, the title and the blurb were enough to make me go out and buy the book, and it did not disappoint.

    9 people, most strangers, some related, decide for their own differing reasons to attend a health retreat at Tranquillum House.

    No-one could prepare them for what happens next, this is a retreat unlike any other, and will leave none of them, including the retreat personnel and staff the same ever again.

    I found it fascinatingly disquieting. An amazing display of madness/narcissistic personality/born again evangelism (Masha), and cult mentality/hero worship (Yao). The 9 attendees of the retreat were wonderful, each bringing their own personality and “issues” to the retreat. Moriarty provides a fascinating insight into how people behave under stress, and how you can never actually be sure who will step up and who will fall apart.

    If this book doesn’t make you research thoroughly any wellness/health retreat before you sign up for it then you might be better off going on a cruise!

    Absolutely brilliant, 5 stars.

  27. After reading and watching Leanne Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and seeing a story about her new book on 60 Minutes, I was really excited to read Nine Perfect Strangers.

    I found it hard to get into this book and to engage with the characters and their back stories, but I persisted and it paid off. It was quick to read once I got going and I really enjoyed the plot twist which keep be reading! I also really enjoyed the Australian scene setting.

    It was an enjoyable read, once I got into it, and I would definitely recommend it.

    Thank you for the opportunity Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan.

  28. Another fantastic read by Liane Moriarty. Once I started reading I could not put the book down. In her style, she tells the story from the different characters perspectives. She created character ‘care factor’ where I really wanted to know what was going to happen to each character and what their back story was and why they were at the health retreat. There are twists and turns that you don’t expect.
    I highly recommend reading ‘9 Perfect Strangers.’ 5 stars!

  29. Nothing less than you would expect.
    Another amazing book by an amazing author!
    So, nine perfect strangers is exactly that. Nine people who meet in peculiar circumstances and by the end are no longer strangers. To be honest it had its twists but we’re more predictable than her other books.
    Absolutely loved it and will definitely be in my reread pile! Highly recommend!

  30. I finished this book feeling a bit unsettled. That said, it was well written, an interesting storyline, well developed characters and twists to keep you guessing!

    I don’t think I will be booking into a health restore any time soon based on these characters experience – however life changing it was!

  31. I have read and enjoyed all of Liane Moriarty’s other novels (my least favourite was “The Last Anniversary” as the basic scenario was a bit too much to swallow and I had less empathy for the characters). I was looking forward to this one but found it heavy going to start with – partly I think the context/setting of a health resort had little appeal for me and I guess this is because the impression I have of them is that they are fundamentally fake and boring. Also it was hard to empathise with or care about any of the characters to start with, though as the story unfolded some of them became more believable and I did start to care quite a lot about how some of the characters’ were going to come through this experience. On the whole I think the book could have done with some editing (ie lose about a 1/4 of its length?) So I didn’t exactly romp through it, but I was intrigued enough to follow through to the end. And were other readers a little mystified by the final chapter – I guess that was Moriarty’s intent?! I have to guess that Jessica was the wedding planner because surely there’s no way that particular bride (even given her profession) and groom would go for such extravaganza?

    In summary, glad I read it but it’s not a keeper in the way that at least 5 of her previous novels have been.

  32. Found this book to be an interesting read, not overly complicated so you could put it down & then come back to it & remember what had happened in the past.

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