I’ve been meaning to read Liane Moriarty for awhile. Her books seem right up my alley, so to speak, and Mary-Esther recently suggested that I give Moriarty’s most recent book a try. Since I was home sick for a protracted amount of time, I thought, “What better way to feel better about myself than reading about somebody else’s hellish experience at a health resort?”
And although the book did not, in point of fact, heal me of my own bronchitis, it was a wonderfully engaging page-turner–one I enjoyed very much. So much so that I’ve already requested a bunch of Moriarty’s other books from the library.
I don’t want to talk too much about the actual plot of the book because a big part of what I found fascinating was unraveling the backstories of the various guests. Suffice to say that the book is about nine Aussies who find themselves at a health resort in rural Australia. They’ve been promised a rejuvenating and transformative experience. They all have individual reasons for attending, and the real reasons tend to be a lot less forthcoming than the official excuses and explanations they provide. The health resort itself is also . . . not quite what it seems.
Chapters rotate between the various characters’ perspectives, and it was a lot of fun to unpack what they falsely and correctly guess about each other and to follow how their views and opinions of each other evolve. It’s real appeal is undoubtedly its characters–who are marvelously flawed and believable and still likable. The pacing is also exceptional. It is a bit of a cliché to refer to a book as a page-turner, but I was glued to this book and quickly read it within a matter of hours.
Another thing I liked is, on the surface, the novel is a breezy thriller, but the book also manages to be hilarious and more profound than that initial description conveys. I frequently found myself laughing out loud at the events that unfolded–the humor was not something I really expected–but I was also pleasantly surprised how Moriarty also grappled with deeper, more serious themes regarding aging and grief and life’s disappointments without appearing to be flippant or preachy.
If I had a complaint, it would be only that I found the ending a little too perfect, but I suspect Moriarty is having fun with her readers on that since too-perfect endings are a plot point that arise for one of her characters, a middle-aged romance novelist accused of tying her own stories up too neatly. In any event, I enjoyed the book very much and look forward to trying more of Moriarty’s other book.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Jojo Moyes and Tana French.
Are you a Liane Moriarty fan? What’s your favorite Moriarty book? Have you ever been to a hellish health resort? Tell us in the comments! As always, please visit our online library catalog for more information or to place an item on hold.