In the hands of zealot retreat owner Masha, with her two assistants Delilah and Yao, you just know that plenty is going to go wrong. And what about the paying guests? The talent the writer has in creating her characters is that they could be any of us, they are so unbelievably normal in so many ways, so easy to relate to. Their journeys and life events that bring them to the retreat are all quite different, quite diverse, but they are as human as you and I underneath all the veneer and trappings of life. It is the nine perfect strangers that make this book such a treat to read, such a page turner.
A romance writer dealing with her own failed romance and bruising her ego has taken; a health retreat junkie who can't decide to have a baby with his partner; a mother whose husband has traded her in for a younger model; a washed up football star; a young couple who have recently won the lottery; a married couple and their 20 year old daughter dealing with a shocking family tragedy. And at the centre of it all is Masha, flawed herself, in need of looking after too.
From the beginning there is a sinister air, a slightl frission, nervousness as to what is going to happen at this beautiful place in the northern New South Wales country side. A 3 day silence starts the retreat, testing all the participants, forcing them to begin to face themselves, yet at the same time build relationships with others. We know this is not going to be an easy time for any of the guests. And watching over everything is Masha. What is she going to do? As the reader you never really know where the story line is going, how the characters will behave, the unexpected little turns. It's great, a real page turner. I was reading this every opportunity I could. Apparently Reese Witherspoon has bought the rights to make a film/TV series - can't wait.