I recently read Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. (Moriarty is also known for Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty and others.) This new novel takes place at Tranquillum House, an upscale and enigmatic Australian health resort that promises life-changing results through a 10-day retreat. The guests arrive with baggage of all kinds, from insecurity to unresolved grief. Frances Welty is a formerly best-selling romance novelist who doubts the power of Tranquillum House but is desperate for a change. Will kale smoothies and meditation really heal her raw heartbreak? There’s something odd about Tranquillum House, but the resort director, Masha, is so beautiful, so enlightened and so confident that each guest feels compelled to believe in her. Will the fasting and vow of silence be the ultimate solution? Each chapter rotates point of view; readers can’t help but be drawn to the unique stories that have a common thread of self-doubt. Moriarty fully embodies her characters and prompts readers to ask themselves, “What if I could be a new person in 10 days? And what would I do to get there?”
Margaret Gardner is the senior library manager at R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. Margaret lives in the Twin Cities with her husband who bakes bread, and dog that occasionally eats books.