The Book-Lovers Retreat

The Book-Lovers Retreat

By Heidi Swain

What it’s about?

One long summer. One perfect setting. Can fiction inspire real life…?

Sometimes a book grabs you by the heart and grows to mean everything to you. That’s what Hope Falls is to friends Emily, Rachel and Tori. So, when they get the chance to spend a whole summer at the cottage in Lakeside where the film adaptation was located, they know it is going to be the holiday of a lifetime.

Spending six weeks away will give them a chance to re-evaluate their life choices. For Emily to decide which way her career will go – the safe route, or the more risky creative option? And for Rachel to decide whether to move in with her partner Jeremy. Then Tori has to drop out at the last moment, and her space is offered to another Hope Falls afficionado, Alex.

But when Alex turns out not to be who they expected, the holiday takes an unforeseen turn. And as the summer develops, so does their friendship. Could this be where they uncover their future selves, find love in all its forms and where their lives will change course forever…?

What I think:

This is perfect summer reading! And would expect nothing less from Heidi Swain, who is the Queen of feel-good women’s fiction!

The characters are interesting and relatable, the setting is magical, and there is the perfect blemd of friendship and romance, tears, and laughter. If you don’t want to head to Lakeside and experience the Hope Falls magic for yourself after reading this, I will be very surprised.

Hope Falls is a book and movie adaptation that is beloved by its fans. There is a waiting list to stay in the Lake District cottage where the film is selt. Best friends and a Hope Falls super fans, Emily, Rachel, and Tori have for a chance to spend the summer in Lakeside and thus is their year.

Everything has been planned for months. And then, of course, it goes wrong. Tori is forced to pull out, and Emily and Rach have to find a third person to share the holiday with. In comes Alex, another fan of the book. It seems like a perfect solution. Until Alex isn’t who they think they are. It’s not really a spoiler to reveal he’s a man! Ruining their girlie holiday dreams.

The plot of Hope Falls, as revealed by the prologue, is three people sharing a summer together, building friendships, and working through some of the issues in their personal lives. The Book-Lovers Retreat follows the same outline.

Emily is stifled in a stable but boring office jib. She really wants to turn her sewing skills and creativity into a business but has to brave enough to take the risk.

Rachel has a devoted boyfriend in Jeremy, but her friends are concerned about him. She needs the summer away to evaluate the future of their relationship.

Rich but aimless, Tori has been drifting along for too long until her father steps in with some tough love, which means she has to step up and show how intelligent and resilient she really is.

And there is Alex, who has his own reasons for coming to Hope Falls.

I loved all of the characters and how they developed throughout the course of the novel. They all grow in confidence and self-belief, take chances, and make plans for the future. Friendships are strengthened and made. It’s so nice to read a book where women are supportive of each other, even when they don’t always agree with the decisions their friends make.

I really enjoyed this book. I think it is the perfect pick me up for a gloomy weekend or a lovely holiday read.

Thank you so much to Tandem Collective for inviting me to be a part of the readalong. Head to Instagram to see some of the challenges and discussion prompts. There was a lot of love for this book and fans of Heidi Swain will absolutely love it!

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