The Book-Lovers' Retreat by Heidi Swain

The Book-Lovers' Retreat by Heidi Swain

Apologies for going AWOL a bit last week but it was for a very good reason.


Everyone, please meet Hattie! Hattie arrived at our home at Monday night and has filled our lives with love and fun. She is an older lady, who loves walks and as many cuddles as it is possible to give. We love her so much already. She is gently steering us through owning a dog again, and is an utter joy.

If you missed my last post, it was a recap of July's reading.

Please click here to read July 2023 wrap-up

With everything going on, I have been a bit lazier in my reading and it has been heaven. I'm reading a wonderful, beloved biography based on a recent visit to Sutton Bank, and have the latest Elly Griffiths sat on my shelf winking at me. It's purportedly the last in the Dr Ruth Galloway series and I have to confess, I don't want this wonderful series to end. Does anybody else do this?

Please click here to read a list of Elly Griffiths novels.

On with today's review! I'm whispering this, but after what felt like an ark-building amount of rain, the sun has made a welcome return. And I have a brilliant 5 Star Beach read for you today. If you are jetting off on your holidays, pop this in your suitcase. If you are staying at home, pick up a cocktail/mocktail, put your feet up and enjoy.

The Plot

Classic novel Hope Falls is friends Emily, Rachel and Tori's favourite book. 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's 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 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 aficionado, 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 live in all its forms and where their lives will change course forever....?

My Thoughts

I've already issued a spoiler alert with this review in that this is a 5 star read! I loved the premise of the book. Fans of a book called Hope Falls can book a stay in the house featured in the film and visit local beauty spots where many of the book's key moments take place. The cottage is Lovely, think log-burners, cosy blankets and light-flooded bedrooms where you can sit with a cup of tea thinking about the day ahead.

The story of our main characters in The Book Lovers' Retreat reflects that of the characters in Hope Falls. Emily has a real fork in the road moment with her career, should she do a safe but boring job, or follow her passion and launch her own sewing business. Rachel is unable to see that her boyfriend is extremely controlling, and constantly trying to isolate her from her friends. And he has asked her to move in with him. But she has a niggle of a doubt. Especially when she gets on famously with local pub-owner Connor. And Alex? Alex is coming to terms with grief and makes the trip to the Book Lovers' Retreat for a very poignant reason.

Adventures take place, our retreaters visit the places featured in the books, and as each day ends have learnt something more about themselves and each other. They are one step further into their journey.

Of course romance abounds, and the appearance of Tori, coping with having to manage her own finances after being spoilt by her father, complicates things somewhat.

This is a perfect holiday read. Great fun, romantic and I loved the premise about celebrating a book with another book. 5 Stars!

Right Hattie needs another cuddle. Have a great weekend!