Study Guide

Lars Lee in Nine Perfect Strangers

By Liane Moriarty

Lars Lee

At first glance, it might seem that Lars has got it all. He’s in a great relationship. He’s got a great job. He seems to have it all figured out

So why does he need a wellness retreat?

That’s a good question. Lars is a veteran of health retreats. He’s skeptical about promises of transformation, but he keeps coming anyway. Maybe the answer lies in his psychedelic therapy:

A little boy with dark hair and a dirty face said to Lars, “Come with me. I’ve got something to show you.”

“No thanks, buddy,” said Lars. “I’m busy right now.”

He recognized this little kid. It was his boyhood self, little Lars, trying to give him a message.

“Please,” said the little boy, and he took Lars’s hand. “I’ve got something I need to show you.”
(31.115-118)

Lars has already told his partner, Ray, that he definitely doesn’t want kids. But when he sees the little boy during his hallucination he starts to reconsider. It also helps that he gets a taste of his own mortality while imprisoned in the yoga studio, and realizes what a swell dad Ray would make.

Sometimes all it takes is a little near-death experience to make you reevaluate your life choices.

When Lars leave Tranquillum House, he keeps living his fabulous life, but he lets Ray know that he’s open to adding a baby to their happy home. Ray is overjoyed and, as a result, Lars is, too. Sometimes love can be transformative.