Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.
Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?
It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.
My take: 3 looks
Ever the page-turning author, Moriarty does it again with a book that is almost finishable (I know, it’s not a real word) in one seating. Beginning with “Big Little Lies”, I grab a book by Moriarty as soon as it hits the “New Releases” section at the library. True to fashion, she didn’t let me down here.
One thing that I can count on with this author’s books is that the characters all seem very real, very relatable, and I am always immediately invested. The almost-washed-up romance novelist, the newly-rich young couple investing in things that will never last, the family of three still grieving over a death in the family, the fat man who looks very familiar, the spa-junkie, and the tired, washed out mother of three. They were all present and accounted for. Their backstories were compelling, realistic, and I agreed that they all needed ten wonderfully transformative days at the remote, impressive, and mysterious Tranquillum House.
We met the enigmatic Masha at the beginning of the book, where she has a live changing event, and her trajectory is forever changed. And therein lies my one fault with the book. I wanted to know more and more and more about Masha and how she arrived at the place where she desired to transform others’ lives. Moriarty is not known for series or sequels, but there is definitely a prequel here of Masha’s former life. She is compelling, mysterious, and a pro at reinvention. To get to know her in her formative years would be a fixating read. As the vision, plan, and power behind this very expensive ten day transformation, she is able to key in on the very elemental needs of her guests. I want to know the path her life took to get her there.
With that said, read the book. It is a few hours you will spend between the pages, only to find yourself thinking about it days after the cover is closed.