Nine, worn-down-by-life, strangers, sign-up for an exclusive ten-day, mind and body total transformation retreat, but end up getting much more than they bargained for!I was expecting the ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ to be strangers to each other but this wasn’t the case. Two were a married couple, while a further three were family members – father, mother, and their 20 year old daughter, while the remaining four were indeed strangers – two male, two female. Of course, the title does have a deeper, cleverer meaning that I am of course not going to reveal. The fact that some were related did make it admittedly easier to keep the various characters straight, as there were thirteen POV’s – made up of the nine guests, three core staff, and one other (no spoilers!), so quite a few voices to keep up with.‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ isn’t a thriller, crime, or mystery novel, and while there are moments of psychological suspense, there are not enough of them to bill it as that either. To be fair the back of the book doesn’t mention any of the above genres, but because that’s what I’ve come to expect from Liane Moriarty, even though I did quite like this, at the same time I couldn’t help feeling disappointed. I would call it contemporary, chick-lit – a light, entertaining, amusing romp, that would make an excellent beach read. I would even go as far as to call it a parody, as it does poke fun at itself several times, and the silliness towards the end screams deliberate. The characters were all interesting, and their reasons for attending a health retreat were moving, emotional, touching real world, relatable issues. The back of the book lists the following words – shame, guilt, loss, grief, privilege, insecurity, addiction, identity, love – and I think that sums up the novel nicely. So, all in all, it was well done, but I would’ve preferred it to be crime, psychological suspense.Note: I actually read the trade paperback edition, which was released here in New Zealand September 18th.