I guess that I first have to admit to never reading any of Liane Moriarty’s books before. I did thoroughly enjoy the television adaptation of “Big Little Lies” but I think I just assumed that her books would be those that I like to classify as “better to watch than read.” I don’t think that I was either fair or correct about that. At least about this book. This was a page turner. I really had no expectation that I would enjoy it as much as I did after it was selected by my book club. That is often the beauty of book club for me.
Octothorp pretty handily explained the premise (with advance spoiler alerts), so I’m not going to get much into plot here. The basic idea is that 9 people with various issues to sort out sign up for a 10 day health retreat run by a former corporate executive who had an epiphany after a near death experience. Each of these “guests” get much more than they bargained for.
Both funny and dark, Moriarty’s story winds itself nicely around contemporary first world issues like mid life crisis, Instagram fame, and body dysmorphia. She deftly pokes fun at the whole self help guru craze while at the same time creating characters that are as laughable as they are sympathetic. It would have been easy to make each of these folks caricatures but instead, Moriarty breathes life into what could have easily been two dimensional stereotypes. She does touch on more serious issues as well which is what I think balances the characters a bit.
It’s a great quick read. A super juicy and fun book to while away an afternoon.
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