The Book-Lovers’ Retreat by Heidi Swain | #bookreview | @Heidi_Swain @SimonSchusterUK @TeamBATC

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Lake District on holiday so it only seemed right to start reading Heidi Swain’s latest novel, The Book-Lovers’ Retreat, which is set there. My photo is taken while I was on a boat trip on Lake Windermere. Heidi’s books tend to be set in communities in Norfolk so this is something quite different from her. The book is due out this week on Thursday 13th April. I was lucky enough to have a review digital copy so thank you to the publishers for that.

About the book

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…?

My Thoughts

Imagine being able to visit the actual place where the adaptation of your favourite book was filmed and, even better, have the chance to live there and relive all your favourite moments. For me, it would be like being able to visit the house used for Barton Cottage where Elinor and Marianne Dashwood lived in Sense & Sensibility. And if Mr Ferrars or Colonel Brandon happened to pop by, so much the better! The three main characters in this book, Emily, Alex, Rachel, are all superfans of the fictional book and film Hope Falls. Being able to stay in the house where it was filmed is a dream come true for them and they have so many plans for their book pilgrimage stay.

Mirroring the story, close friends Emily, Rachel and Tori have booked the house where their fictional heroines lived. At the last minute though Tori is unable to come and the other girls agree that Alex can join them. It’s fair to say that Alex is not what they expect! This changes the dynamic of the holiday and it was so interesting to see how they adapted and got to know each other. The three all had secrets they were keeping and had to learn to trust each other. Quite often, their life reflected that of their beloved story. Like their literary idols, they all had to make big decisions which were really transformative.

I absolutely loved the setting of the Lake District and thought Heidi Swain captured its beauty and ruggedness perfectly. As I said, I started reading while I was in the area and I almost felt like I was living in the book as I followed what the friends did and where they went. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Emily and Alex were stargazing. We only had one clear night while we were away but in such a dark area, the night sky was indeed amazing and, like them, we saw shooting stars too which was magical.

The Book-Lovers’ Retreat is another fabulous read from Heidi Swain. Great characters in a gorgeous setting and a very engaging story makes for a very satisfying read. And I really, really want to read Hope Falls!

About the Author

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her TBR pile is always out of control! To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website:

4 thoughts on “The Book-Lovers’ Retreat by Heidi Swain | #bookreview | @Heidi_Swain @SimonSchusterUK @TeamBATC

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