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Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty


Liane Moriarty is one of the best novelists writing mainstream fiction today, and she’s crafted another unputdownable read with Nine Perfect Strangers.


Frances is a romance novelist who might be looking for a new career after a brutal review and her latest book not being picked up by her publisher. Frances is at breaking point as she drives to a ten-day health retreat at Tranquillum House, that promises total transformation. When Frances arrives, she meets eight other strangers who will be joining her for this experience, all of them hoping that the ten days will result in weight loss and a healthy way of living.


There is handsome Lars who makes a habit of going to these health retreats, but he’s unable to commit to having a child with his partner. There is Carmel, who is a mother of young children, whose husband has left her for a younger woman. She is convinced if she can lose some kilos she will get her mojo back. There is Tony who is also a divorcee, an ex-athlete, who also wants to lose weight. There is the Marconi family, Napoleon, Heather and their daughter Zoe, who are grieving the loss of their son Zach. And there is young married couple Jessica and Ben, who have won the lottery but seem to be struggling in their marriage.


All of these characters are hopeful for a good result from their ten days, enjoying hot stone massages, yoga and meditation and clean food. But what they don’t know is that Masha, the women who runs this retreat, has much more radical vision to transform their lives. These nine perfect strangers truly don’t know what is about to hit them!

Nine Perfect Strangers is a brilliant novel, and Liane does a wonderful job exploring the depth of connection that can be formed with people are thrown together in an intense ten-days. I can’t give away the plot, but halfway through the novel the story punches to a whole new level, and goes from an intriguing character-driven novel to one that is unputdownable thrilling, while still not sacrificing wonderful characterisation. I can’t wait to see this adapted for the screen.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Macmillan, RRP $37.99

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