Mini Review; The Retreat- Sherri Smith

How Well Do You Really Know Your Friends?

Published by Forge

Released 13th August 2019

Page count 352


theretreat sherri smith


Four women.
Four secrets.
A weekend that will change them forever…if they survive.

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 fiance 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 desperate for a good round of editing. Stubborn determination and an eventual stirring of curiosity were the only reasons I continued turning pages.

The writing is stilted with a lot of nothing-words, for example ‘it was like it was outfitted with camouflage‘. I found the words ‘had’ and ‘was’ severely overused, yet interestingly in the first few chapters both words were omitted on several occasions when they really were necessary, leaving sentences incomplete. Almost as if someone had begun to screen the book for these words and chopped them out of places they were actually needed?
In fact in every chapter of The Retreat there are frequent instances of missing words. The writing made enough sense for my mind to subconsciously fill in the gaps but I couldn’t read it as fluently as I’d expect.

There are so many metaphors and similes packed into every description I felt like I was reading my own attempts at storytelling back in secondary school!
I wouldn’t have minded as much if they weren’t so clumsy, for example: ‘like a vampire kitty’ and ‘alarm as if a gun had gone off’

I forced myself through this book to allow myself an honest review. It wasn’t until 70% in that I realised I did want to finish it. By this point I was curious at what the characters were hiding. I can’t tell you I cared about their thoughts, fate or feelings, but I did wonder if my persistence would be rewarded with any juicy revelations.

The ending did redeem a lot of my earlier issues with this book. I think with some very heavy editing it could be good but honestly? Right now it’s a total mess.

Roxanne’s Reactions:


I received an ARC of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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