My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This story of nine very different people attending a luxury health retreat that turns a bit sinister is often quite funny but the narrative isn’t as taut as the only other novel of Moriarty’s I’ve read so far – Big Little Lies. There was, for me, a lack of urgency in learning all of the secrets of all of the characters through at least the first half of the book. Instead, the time is spent introducing the characters – usually through the eyes of the other characters- and lulling the reader and Tranquillium’s guests into a false sense of security. Romance writer Frances Welty is the heart, soul, and wit of the book. It was Frances and her unique world view that kept the book entertaining enough to keep me reading when I didn’t particularly care about finding out what would come later. I often wished, especially early on in the novel, that the Frances chapters weren’t interrupted in favor of other points of view. By the end of Nine Perfect Strangers, though, I had come to care for at least most of the guests.
Nine Perfect Strangers can, at times, be a slow read, getting mired down in details but it is a fun read. However, it doesn’t come close to being as well-written and thrilling as Big Little Lies so, if you haven’t already, I absolutely recommend reading that one.