Getting Well

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is about nine people experiencing different degrees of need for escape/recovery. This is what brings them all to Tranquillum House for a ten-day retreat.

Frances is the character we follow most. She is a romance novelist seemingly at the end of her career.  Her latest novel has been declined and she is reeling from a nasty review.  Tony is the ex-football player who has been “moping” through life since his sports injury.  Napoleon, his wife Heather and their daughter Zoe are still mourning their son/brother’s death.  Jessica and Ben are recent Lottery winners facing marital issues.  Carmel, mother to four daughters, was divorced due to her husband’s affair.  Lars is a devastatingly handsome lawyer/retreat junkie.  He is there in part to escape his husband’s wish to have a baby.

Masha is the owner of Tranquillum, with her own issues and back story too.  In her quest to create the perfect rejuvenating, self-help retreat she pushes the boundaries a bit too far.  The retreat begins with days of silence, no speaking or eye contact allowed.  During this time, guests have been enjoying daily drugged smoothies.  It all comes to a climax  when they are given LSD as a means of promoting therapy, followed by fasting while locked into a room together.  

This is a great read to escape; I found myself really drawn into the guests as they were developed through the book. I saw a little of myself in many of them.  The book concludes with quick snippets of each character’s future.  Read to find out if Masha’s therapy helped the guests or not; is she a maniac or a genius?

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