From smoothie bars and meditation apps to cryotherapy and aura readings, wellness and self-care have never been buzzier. This pursuit of health and overall well-being is at the center of Nine Perfect Strangers, a new novel from Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty.
The nine aforementioned strangers have convened at Tranquillum House, a secluded Australian resort that bills itself as a ten-day “Mind and Body Total Transformation Retreat.”
Among those present are Francis, a twice-divorced flailing romance novelist; a couple hoping to save their marriage; a former professional athlete; and a 20-year-old and her parents, all reeling from a family tragedy.
Each is there for a different reason—from body-image issues to stalled careers—but they’re all led on their wellness journey by Tranquillum’s owner and director, Masha, a blunt Russian émigré hell-bent on providing her guests with some sort of mind-body awakening.
Fans of Big Little Lies will recognize Moriarty’s signature slow-burning reveal; you can sense that things are starting to go south, but you’re not sure why—or who will be impacted. At the risk of revealing too much (this book is almost impossible to describe without spoilers), it’s safe to assume that your hesitations about Masha’s motives aren’t unfounded.
In short, this is just the type of satisfying thriller that everyone has come to expect from Moriarty, complete with smart social commentary and a perfect role for Nicole Kidman to sink her teeth into. (Masha, duh.)