How Does Nine Perfect Strangers Show Differ From the Book?

Nine Perfect Strangers

Photo credit: Hulu

Warning: this post contains spoilers for both the Hulu series and the book by Liane Moriarty.


It’s safe to say whenever a book is adapted to the screen there will be changes. And it’s usually also pretty safe to say that when a book is adapted to the screen, the book is still going to be better.


There have only been a few occurrences where the film version of a story has been just as good as the book (or, in the case of Nicholas Sparks - better. Sorry to all the NS fans out there). 


In my humble opinion, these instances have included:

  • Big Little Lies (LOVED the book and I was SO pleasantly surprised that I LOVED the series on HBO and I’m actually quite devastated that it’s not coming back).
  • Maid (I’m guessing - I loved the series but haven’t read the book yet)
  • Gone Girl (was good, the book is still better, but the movie was good)
  • Jurassic Park (again I’m guessing, also haven’t read the book)

So you see, there’s not many. Which is why I was curious to see how Nine Perfect Strangers would play out.


Nine Perfect Strangers is an 8 episode series on Hulu, adapted from the 2018 book by Liane Moriarty. 


Synopsis of Nine Perfect Strangers


Could ten days at a health resort change your life forever?

Nine people are about to find out.

As they gather around a remote health resort; some are there to lose weight, some to gain a second chance at life, and others for reasons too painful to talk about.

Could the eccentric resort owner Masha really have the answers to all these guests' problems? Or is there something else going on that none of them signed up for?


So. The premise of the story is 9 people show up at a wellness resort, each with a past they’re wanting to heal, move forward from, and ultimately forget.


Masha, the resort’s owner, is a beautiful eccentric woman who promises a rebirth for each and every member who fully commits to the process and her tough-love approach.

Without giving away too many spoilers (but definitely some, so readers beware), here are a few ways Nine Perfect Strangers the Hulu Series differs from the book.

 

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How Does Nine Perfect Strangers Show Differ From the Book?

 

How Does Nine Perfect Strangers Show Differ From the Book?


The Location


Nine Perfect Strangers the book takes place in Australia, whereas the televised series takes place in California. 


Fun fact: it was actually filmed in Australia


Guest Experiences


In the book, each guest upon arrival is not supposed to make eye contact with anyone or speak for five days. This is to give each guest the chance to fully embrace their inner conflicts and emotions. In the TV series, this isn’t mentioned at all, and guests are encouraged to converse and participate in activities together from day one. 


There’s also a difference in the activities among the guests in the book and television series. In the book, there really aren’t a lot of things the members are supposed to do, aside from the “big” group activity near the end of the book. In the Hulu series, the show thrives on the daily activities set up for the guests. 


Guest Storylines


There are also some big differences in the storylines of the guests. For starters, in the book, Lars (one of the guests) is a hot shot attorney. In the Hulu series, he’s a journalist there on assignment trying to get an expose on Masha and Tranquillim following a controversial stay with a previous guest.


In the book, Carmel is a soft spoken, self-conscious woman who is hoping to gain some confidence after her husband left her for a younger woman. In the series, Carmel’s husband cheated on her with Masha and she is seeking revenge, sending threats to Masha while at the resort (this didn’t happen AT ALL in the book - Masha never received threats of any kind and did not have a relationship with Carmel’s husband). 


In the book, Tony is an ex athlete who suffered from depression from a shortened career after sustaining an injury. In the series, they took it a step further by making him a drug addict who killed someone. 


For Masha, she created her resort after a near-death experience. In the book, she was described to be a successful woman who put her health last; she smoked, she drank, she had bad eating habits, and never exercised, causing her to be overweight. In the beginning of the book, she suffers a heart attack due to her poor lifestyle choices and almost dies.


In the show, Masha is described as a successful business woman who was ruthless in her pursuits but ultimately was shot in a parking garage and left to die (I won’t spoil this part but maybe you can guess who shot her….it all circles back!)


We get to see more snippets of Masha’s life in the book and ultimately the choices leading up to her decisions at Tranquillim, but the major difference is in the book, we get to see a glimpse of Masha’s son. In the show, it’s a daughter. And I’ll leave the rest of those spoilers alone. But they’re both equally heartbreaking. 


Lastly, in the book, we discover that Ben and Jessica are just not compatible, and ultimately it leads to their divorce. In the show, not only are they majorly in love, they end up taking over ownership of the resort and continuing Masha’s legacy. 

 

 

There are definitely more differences as you compare the two, and ultimately I do have to say that I enjoyed the series more than I did the book. But I'm curious - if you've read AND watched this one, which did you like better?

 

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