Study Guide

Nine Perfect Strangers Rule & Order

By Liane Moriarty

Rule & Order

Rules are made to be broken. That’s a thing all true rebels believe. But the guests at Tranquillum House learn that they’re ready to conform to rules pretty darn quickly. Masha gives them a list of regulations a mile long. Guests aren’t allowed to have coffee, alcohol, snacks, cell phones, or even conversations with each other. Sure, at first the guests are annoyed. Then they play along. Some of them even like being deprived. Wow. Guess it’s not so hard to get people to follow rules after all.

Questions About Rule & Order

  1. Why would the guests at Tranquillum House try to sneak contraband into the retreat? If you’re paying for a vacation where you detox, then why try to break the rules? 
  2. Different guests seem more or less comfortable with following rules. Compare and contrast two guests and how they feel about the rules at Tranquillum House. 
  3. How easy do you think it is to get people to follow rules and regulations in general?

Chew on This

Masha is successful with her rule regimen because she starts small (No coffee! No cell phones!) and then she slowly moves bigger (No talking! Drink this mandatory smoothie!). The guests don’t know what’s hit them until it’s too late. 

Some of the guests actually find the five-day silence rule enjoyable because it allows them to focus their thoughts without constant distractions.

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