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Nine Perfect Strangers


Nine Perfect Strangers

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS has everything fans of Liane Moriarty will love: witty, smart writing that’s full of humor, intrigue and surprises.

In this out-of-the-gate bestseller, Moriarty puts together a cast of strangers (nine, to be perfectly exact) at a 10-day retreat at Tranquillum House. Each has a different motivation for attending, and each has her/his own expectations of the retreat format and its outcomes. Bound by an uncertainty in this new experience --- full of meditations, mindfulness activities, uncustomary protocols, and kicked off with a five-day noble silence --- the guests begin to diffuse their resistances and learn about themselves in novel ways. The imposed restrictions unite these strangers in an unexpected manner until they are all wondering and asking themselves the same question.

"NINE PERFECT STRANGERS has everything fans of Liane Moriarty will love: witty, smart writing that’s full of humor, intrigue and surprises."

Imagine a place where you sign up and pay to be stripped of the very things you rely on daily, like Google searches, phones and even speech. Every one of the retreat-goers feels some level of insecurity or discomfort with the rules and policies of the resort --- well, except perhaps Napoleon, who is a rule-follower extraordinaire. Yet everyone relinquishes some control and surrenders themselves to the instructions of the director, Masha, no matter how unusual, and Frances observes, “How quickly people adapted to strange rules and regulations!” What makes people do that? Politeness? Fear of standing out? Curiosity? Desire for the promised transformation?

Through the characters and their variety of needs and situations, Moriarty reveals truths of human nature and norms of our modern culture. For example: Who of us wouldn’t feel at least a little like Jessica, who “felt like she’d had something amputated”? I dare you not to see a bit of yourself somewhere in one of these nine strangers (or perhaps the Tranquillum House staff).

I laughed so often, especially with the lead character, Frances, a middle-aged, once-popular romance writer. Moriarty has some fun poking at the real-world publishing culture as Frances reads a male author’s serious work of literary fiction with internal commentary before tossing it across the room. It’s such a treat to discover the hidden Easter eggs.

Whether you’re a Liane Moriarty fan or new to her writing, you’re in for a fantastic read with NINE PERFECT STRANGERS. I recommend opening the pages of this book and entering Tranquillum House knowing very little, which is why I’m sharing very little. Join these nine perfect strangers with an open mind, ready to be surprised.

Reviewed by Leah DeCesare ( on November 20, 2018

Nine Perfect Strangers
by Liane Moriarty

  • Publication Date: November 6, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250069823
  • ISBN-13: 9781250069825