Nine Perfect Strangers this morning and decided to share a few of my thoughts. It was the book I featured on Tuesday in my First Chapter First Paragraph post, so I won't repeat the blurb or the beginning - you can read that here if you like.
I mentioned that I've had Liane Moriarty on a 'favorite author' list since I read The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies several years ago. I was not as pleased with the last book, Truly Madly Guilty. I think Moriarty was propelled into 'even more famous' status after the TV adaptation of Big Little Lies and the actors that played the main parts. Many people 'discovered' her books. And had expectations. So, what did I think?
Well, I wasn't sure I was going to be so pleased with the book. It contains a lot of characters and the viewpoint shifts from person to person, though more of the book is told through a subset of 4 or 5 people. A lot of the more negative reviews mentioned the many characters and viewpoint shifts. It begins with a woman who is suffering a heart attack and seems to have died. We then move 10 years down the road and meet 9 people who are arriving at a health resort way out in the Australian countryside. They are there to 'transform' their lives through various means - many of the current trends, fads, whatever you want to call behaviors that improve your body and spirit. It turns out not at all like what they thought. It gets completely wacky or 'bonkers' as Cleo mentioned in her review here last fall.
As I listened and thought, this is too weird, but kept going, I decided that I did like the book. Parts of the way the characters interacted and related reminded me of this author's treatment of people in other books - books I loved. I didn't mind lots of characters or viewpoints. There was humor and poignant stories too. In the end, as the characters changed and 'transformed' (maybe not how we anticipated), I liked most of them a lot better too. And that's all I'll say because I don't want to give away too much.
Even though I don't think this book will top my two favorites by Liane Moriarty, I liked it a lot. I'll keep reading her books and I'd also like to go back and try her backlist. Have you read this one or others that I didn't mention here? Ones you would recommend? Let me know. And would you go to a health retreat for a vacation? I don't think I see that in my future - certainly not one like this! Ha!