Continued analysis of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers as part of the DIY MFA Writer Igniter Reading Challenge. For more details click here.
The midpoint of Nine Perfect Strangers is the scene where the nine attendees of the Tranquillum House wellness retreat formally end their ‘noble silence.’ These strangers have been living in the same mansion for five days and haven’t been able to speak, touch, or make eye contact. Now, this silence is about to end. For the most part, this seems like the ‘Temporary Triumph’ type of midpoint. Most of the attendees seem to think the silence, although difficult, has cleared their minds and they are better prepared for the next step in their personal journey to transformation. But then a secret comes out on the exact midpoint of the book, page 225 out of 449 pages. SPOILER ALERT: As I predicted in Prompt 5: the inciting incident, the attendees have been drugged (‘micro-dosed’ with LSD) this whole time. And, as they come out of their noble silence and make formal-ish introductions to each other, they consume another smoothie, this time micro-dosed with psychedelic mushrooms. As each attendee goes on his/her own trip, they each have mirror moments that help them realize their truths. Some people end up enjoying this trip, others freak out.
In the case of the protagonist, Frances acknowledges her past lovers as examples of her issues with men, she spends quality time with her deceased friend who helps her see that perhaps she should put more forethought into her relationships and romance novel plots as they often seem to reflect her shallow preparation for both. This leads to Frances’s reflections on the insecurities she has regarding her writing.