The author Liane Moriarty makes use of laughter, thrills and surprises

The author Liane Moriarty makes use of laughter, thrills and surprises

"Nine Perfect Strangers" (Flatiron Books) by Liane Moriarty

Life is good for Liane Moriarty. Writer "Big Little Lies," who worked with actress Nicole Kidman to make this book a successful HBO series, sold the rights to her new novel "Nine Perfect Strangers" to her Australian friend before the rest of we could read it at all.

Let's help them and make casting. Kidman, with a bit more padding and lots of red lipstick, can star as Frances Welty, the broken heart romantic romance that is the emotional center of Nine Perfect Strangers. Eight more actors by name will join the project as soon as it's officially on board.

The key casting decision will be antagonist Masha, a former senior health and wellness executive. She must be beautiful, but strict. Driven and buttoned, but also a bit choppy. Russian or Eastern European. Milla Jovovich maybe?

Fortunately, you can spend a few hours with the book before the series comes to a screen near you. It's a quick read, populated by the protagonists who sign up for a retreat at Tranquillum House, a resort in Sydney that promises personal transformation in just 10 days.

The first half of the 450-page novel is a little slow, but as soon as the nine guests have finished their five-day "noble silence," the tempo speeds up and the story moves from a set of character perspectives (each chapter title is a character's name.) ) to a carefree thriller. Once the strangers can speak, they have much to talk about.

Is Masha really dear? And most importantly, what happens to them during the last "Emotional Relief Exercise" of the retreat?

Moriarty manages to keep the sound largely bright, although characters are created with real problems. From a family that can not deal with the suicide of their son and brother, to a divorce lawyer who deals with daddy problems, all nine characters are adequately developed and feel right at the end of the book. Moriarty enjoys training them through Frances' eyes: Carmela, a four-year-old mid-thirties mother, wearing an oversized, brand-new white T-shirt that hung almost to her knees over black leggings. Standard outfit for one average woman starting a new exercise program and thinking that her perfectly normal body should be hidden. "Tony, a former Aussie Rules football player," weighs his big, firm belly on his lap as if it were a baby, handed to him without his consent. "Or Jessica, a young woman who does not feel comfortable with her cosmetic improvements:" (She) did not earn as much as she deserved; Instead, she scurried, her shoulders arched as if she were somewhere out of bounds, trying to avoid attention. "

Readers learn a lot more about each of the nine as the novel reaches its peak. You have become for all and give the impression that Moriarty is doing so, so much that it is hard for her to say goodbye and write a series of final chapters that inform readers weeks, months and even years later what happened to them after the events in Tranquillum house. It's the end of a book that is supposed to be a television series.

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