I found this post in my drafts and it seems a shame not to post it now considering it’s a book I really didn’t like! (I think I was quite generous!)
I was really looking forward to this book, it sounded amazing – nine strangers go on a health retreat but all is not what it seems – my perfect read!
However that is not what this book is. All the way through I kept thinking ‘maybe something will happen now and everything will kick start’, this didn’t happen, I was so disappointed! I finished the book wishing I hadn’t wasted my time.
Characters – the chapters are centred around the different people individually for the most part so you have the chance to get a feel for each character however I personally didn’t think I connected with any of them very deeply – I just wasn’t given enough from each one. I wanted to get inside their heads and really get to grips with their hidden pasts (promised from the blurb) but each character was just touched upon and then left abandoned. Perhaps there were just too many of them to delve into – each one was flawed and vulnerable (reflecting very human neuroses – very refreshing and relatable), it’s just a shame we aren’t given the chance to pay them the attention they deserve and get ourselves some mental healing too.
Narrative – The book is written well but simply; this is not a wordy text you need to take your time over however it feels like the narrative never really gets going in a sense and because of this the conclusion felt rushed to me. The majority of the book is taken up by how these strangers distrust each other and how their experience in the retreat will make them ‘new people’ but it is written too lightly for such heavy subject matters (mental health & wellbeing) which I believe has led to my disengagement with the text. I found myself confused as to if I was reading a happy book of self-discovery or a mystery thriller.
I have given the book two stars, it did keep me reading to the end after all but I’m glad I borrowed this from the library and didn’t actually pay for it. I’ve only read one other Liane Moriarty novel – Big Little Lies and I loved it, it whet my appetite with its intrigue and by the end of the novel I was stuffed. I’ve also heard great things about her other novels so I think I will read her back catalogue before I read any more of her new stuff, hopefully this one was just a blip!