by Liane Moriarty
4 / 5 stars
Find it on Goodreads!
Back again my friends, with another book I would never have previously chosen… but to even my surprise I selected this book for myself & the book club gals to read for the month of September. I chose this title because I saw that Hulu was making a show & I thought, ok the cast looks good, let’s start with the book to build up the excitement.
I was shocked at how much I really liked the book, and also the writing style, the story flowed nicely & given that there were around 12 characters in total – there was ample opportunity for character development across all 12 without things feeling hyper focused on anyone specifically. Even though there was obviously more focus on a few characters, it was well rounded.
The concept was interesting as well, people going to a wellness retreat & then finding out they are actually being microdosed LSD and mushrooms!? I mean… on par with my usual behavior, i did not actually do any research into the actual story before beginning so I was surprised. But I was intrigued because there are actually a lot of medical studies that have been done in the past & following the 70’s were put on hold until reletively recently (10 or so years). It was really interesting to see an author as big as Liane Moriarty touching on such a controversial topic in such a non-chalant way. Promising for mainstream acceptance of the study of therapy by halluciogenics in controlled environments.
Though that concept takes a weird and unique turn as the book progresses it was still a really interesting one. I was hooked, I couldn’t get enough of the book & as usual I was listening via Audible so the australian narrator absolutely killed it! (i’m a sucker for aussie accents) but it all just felt “right”… until… the last chapter?
I won’t give any spoilers because I really think people just need to read it for themselves. Some of the girls in my book club liked the ending, I was a bit disappointed. It did the rest of the story a huge injustice in my opinion & I had wanted a different outcome. While all of the characters come out of this story transformed (which they are promised upon arrival) is the transformation they expected? that I, as a reader, wanted them to have? I think we all will have our own expectation for the ending.
It is definitely a unique story, one that illicits a lot of conversation which is always fun to get insight from others.
Now… regarding the show. I started watching the show towards the end of the book – thinking that I was so deep into the book, that episode one or two wouldn’t spoil anything for me. I QUICKLY found that the two are only slightly similar. The characters are the same, the plot & whatnot are all aligned. But there is so much different, things happen in the book, that never take place in the show & vice versa. So I quickly stopped the show until i finished the book & thankfully so because they have very different, although still somehow similar endings.
I hate to admit that I think I liked the end of the show better, but maybe only because I was visualizing it… having read & watched I’ve been able to experience some really great debates & conversations with my friends & I welcome anyone and everyone to let me know what they think. Book ending? Show ending? Try them both & report back ASAP!
I listened to this as an audiobook, find it on Audible. The narrator (Caroline Lee) has the most soothing and animated Australian accent & I wish I could listen to her narrate every aspect of everything ever. She did a killer job & I think she made the story 100% more enjoyable!