The perfect feel-good read from an exciting new voice in women’s fiction, for fans of Heidi Swain, Cathy Bramley and Jenny Colgan.
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 realises 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…
Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness! Where you can learn to move mountains by picking up the smallest of stones…
The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness is the debut novel from Laura Bambrey, and from the outset I could see why it was picked from the Books and the City’s #DigitalOriginals #OneDay2019 open submissions day.
I could resonate with how the lead character felt so was enthralled following her personal journey in dealing with this once at the retreat and also in the past.
I found that Tori was a believable, relatable and loveable character that I was cheering for from the start. There were also many wonderful characters, and a nice variety, that she meets at The Farm. I especially enjoyed Doreen, Bay and the adorable dog Dennis.
There is so much warmth and hope in this book that makes it such a feel-good and heart-warming story. Throughout Laura tackles many different issues that society deals with which results in many people at some time feeling lonely; grief, breakdown of relationships, social media and more. It shows that many people can result in feeling the same way although for many different reasons. The way that Laura deals with these issues across Tori’s story, and those also at the retreat, is done so beautifully and with compassion.
This book definitely struck a chord with me and left me wondering if the blog exists and when I can go on this retreat? It sounds like exactly what I need!
I’m already itching to see what Laura writes next!