Penguin Books September 2018
One luxury retreat in the middle of nowhere.
Ten days in which no one can leave.
Nine strangers seeking perfection.
And each discovering the perfect lie…
I had heard some very mixed reviews about this read, but as a fan of the author I was in no doubt that this was a book I wanted to read. At over 400 pages this wasn’t a short read but it started very well for me as we began to meet the nine strangers whose paths would cross whilst on a 10 day retreat at the Tranquillum House. I liked the mix of characters and how they were introduced to the reader, Frances the central character was a likeable but somewhat lost romance fiction writer who was using the spa as an opportunity to relax and take some time out. While she seemed to be a prominent character, the story was told from multiple perspectives, including all of the guests plus Marsha, the owner of the Spa and her staff Delilah and Yao.
The back story of all the guests were interesting and well developed and I enjoyed the somewhat unorthodox nature of the Spa and the way the guests generally conformed with the arrangements. As the story progressed it took an unexpected turn, where it wouldn’t be a spoiler to say things went somewhat awry! For me this aspect dragged a little and actually I preferred the stories of recovery associated with the guests.
As stated earlier I am a big fan of Liane Moriarty and this was a book I enjoyed, although I would be inclined to agree with others in saying it’s probably not my favourite book of hers. The writing seemed slightly less sharp and witty but none the less this was a good read, which I could see being made into a TV drama like Big Little Lies and it is a book I would recommend for fans of the author and contemporary fiction.
About the Author
Liane Moriarty is the bestselling author of eight novels: Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Deeply and Nine Perfect Strangers. The Husband’s Secret is a worldwide bestseller which has sold more than two million copies and been translated into over forty languages. Big Little Lies is now an Emmy and Golden Globe winning HBO series, produced by and starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.