On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the second novel by Sherri Smith, The Retreat.
Sherri Smith illuminates the dark side of the self-care and wellness industry in a thrilling ride of revenge perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers.
Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.
Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait “Where Are They Now?” articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother’s too-good-to-be-true fiancée invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie’s two best friends—one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship—Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.
Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.
The Retreat is an utterly chilling read by Sherri Smith. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading it. I thought Sherri Smith’s writing was very immersive. A group of friends, Carmen, Ariel and Katie, head to a wellness retreat. Katie is desperate to make a new start in her life, and she hopes that this break with her friends will help steer her towards that new destination. But soon, strange things start to happen, and it isn’t long before a dark cloud begins to descend. Very soon, they’ll all be in grave danger.
I thought Sherri Smith created a chilling atmosphere for her book, especially as things at the retreat started to go wrong. I wanted to know what was really going on here, and I flew through the book to find out. Sherri Smith has created some well-developed characters with intriguing backstories. Katie was a successful child actor until her manager attacked her, leaving her scarred for life. It destroyed her acting career. She sees this experience as a chance to overcome that part of her life. But her other friends have secrets and things in their lives they are running from as well.
I sensed a really creepy vibe from the moment the group of friends arrived for their holiday. I thought the owner was a very mysterious character. I wanted to know if he had any connection to the events which were now happening. There are whispers that the retreat is actually a cult, and as I was reading, I could see why guests may think like that. It created a very dark and foreboding atmosphere; you know that something terrible is going to happen.
Sherri Smith is a writer who knows how to keep her reader turning the page. I was utterly hooked by the story, and I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters. As the danger starts to grow around the group, the book and the setting begins to feel very claustrophobic. I really couldn’t trust anyone.
If you’re a fan of creepy psychological thrillers, then you definitely should add The Retreat to your TBR Pile.
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication date: 13th August 2019
Print length: 340 pages
The Retreat is available to buy: