What They Say:
Tori Williamson is alone. After a tragic event left her isolated from her loved ones, she’s been struggling to find her way back to, well – herself. That’s why she set up her blog, The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness, as a way of – anonymously – connecting with the outside world and reaching others who just need a little help sometimes.
When she’s offered a free spot on a wellbeing retreat in exchange for a review on her blog, Tori is anxious about opening herself up to new surroundings. But after her three closest friends – who she talks to online but has never actually met – convince her it’ll do her some good, she reluctantly agrees and heads off for three weeks in the wild (well, a farm in Wales).
From the moment she arrives, Tori is sceptical and quickly finds herself drawn to fellow sceptic Than, the retreat’s dark and mysterious latecomer. But as the beauty of The Farm slowly comes to light she realizes that opening herself up might not be the worst thing. And sharing a yurt with fellow retreater Bay definitely isn’t. Will the retreat be able to fix Tori? Or will she finally learn that being lonely doesn’t mean she’s broken . . .
What I Say:
For starters, I can hardly believe that this is a debut novel. Everything about it scream veteran author!
Tori is the most likeable character and I would be her friend in a flash. We've had similar experiences and traumas and, just one year ago, I felt as lost as she did. Her online friends are her biggest support, just like mine are. But Tori has an incredible gift for writing and being open and honest on her blog. I admire that.
When Tori goes to The Farm, things are bleak for her and she needs a change. What will she find? I loved the journey she took and the people (most of them!) that she took it with. Bay and Dennis, Rowan, Doreen... They were all the perfect people for her to be surrounded by.
I want to go on a retreat like this! I also want a sequel to Tori's story. I need to know if she gets her happily ever after, Laura!!
This is top of my BOTY list for Best Debut of 2021! I've read it twice and will no doubt read it again! Also highly recommended to my online bestie, Anna. She's my Warrior! 11/10