The Retreat

The Retreat

by Sherri Smith

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Overview

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. The Retreat is a twisting, bone-chilling suspense that asks: how well do you really know your friends?

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765386731
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 08/13/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 150,897
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

When not writing SHERRI SMITH spends time with her family and two rescue dogs, and restores vintage furniture that would otherwise be destined for the dump. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada, where the long, cold winters nurture her dark side. She is the author of Follow Me Down and The Retreat.

Customer Reviews

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The Retreat 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
aelily 5 days ago
I’ve been on a real murder mystery kick lately. And this book delivered oh so well. Katie is a former child star whose money is quickly drying up and has been going through a rough patch due to a tasteless tweet she’s made. She decides it’s time to get away to her energy re-aligned and to get her energy re-aligned. Joining her are her two best friends from college, Carmen and Ariel, and her stuffy soon to be sister in law Ellie. This getaway happens to be at a new age wellness retreat where the uh treatments are waaay out there. The couple running it are in my eyes very peculiar and the guests run from the normal to the what in the hell is going on. Right away we can sense discord amongst the group and when a member ends up missing...the fun begins. This book had me from the start and was a wild roller coaster until the VERY end. At times it felt a bit campy sort of like an 80s horror movie but you know what it worked and I really enjoyed it. There are some heavy topics at play here but the author conveys the emotion very very well and handles it as sensibly as one can. I was not expecting the ending but I did predict some of the plot but I am a mystery junkie and nothing really shocks me anymore. like I I thoroughly enjoyed this and my only true complaint was that I wish it were longer and we had a bit more of a resolution for some of the other campers at the retreat! When you read it you’ll find out what I mean Thank you very much to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for this honest review.
SheTreadsSoftly 5 days ago
The Retreat by Sherri Smith is a recommended thriller. Four women head to The Sanctuary, a wellness retreat. Will they make it out alive? We know from the start that someone has killed multiple people, we just don't know who. The four women who head to the retreat are all connected through former child star Katie Manning. Ellie Rose, Katie's brother's fiancée, invited Katie. Katie, in turn, invited her two friends from her brief college attendance, Carmen and Ariel. All four of these women have some big secrets they want to hide, but the whole purpose of the retreat is to find themselves and inner bliss. The weekend culminates with the ceremony where all the retreat attendees drink the hallucinatory ayahuasca tea. Smith does develop her characters to give them depth; however they all seem to be caricatures of a type of person. The whole novel is populated by unlikable and unreliable stereotypical characters. It is also relatively easy to figure out early on who is the killer, so the thrill is in reaching the conclusion and find out what happens to tie the opening scene to the story. The narrative is told through the four women who travel together to the Sanctuary, so the reader is privy to their secrets, schemes, and insecurities. All of these women are vastly different characters. The writing is good, in spite of the fact that the plot is predictable and the characters stereotypes. There are also scenes that really serve no purpose except to be disturbing or depraved. This is an airplane book, read it to pass the time, but you won't cry if you misplace it or never finish it. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the Tom Doherty Associates.
BigReader7860 6 days ago
First- Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan for allowing me to read and review this book in exchange for my opinions. I liked this book but I did find it overly wordy.the gist of the story is about a washed up child star who goes to a retreat with her brother’s fiancée and other friends. Almost every character was hateful in one way or another. Very hard to like anyone or even understand the different relationships.
JillB1 9 days ago
A solid four star review for this thriller/mystery of four women who are on spa retreat, all with different reasons, and of course, all with secrets. Suddenly a murder happens and all the women there could have done it and all could be next. We are given clues, red herrings, flawed characters and a completely unexpected ending.
Suesyn Zellmer 10 days ago
I went into this story thinking that it would be one of the good thrillers that draws you in and I wasn't disappointed. It's told from the point of you of 4 different woman who go away to a meditative retreat, each with their own agenda. Katie is the main character, a former child star, now a pariah for an offensive tweet who goes at the suggestion of Ellie, her future sister-in-law. She's a new age vegan British beauty who she does not get along with. Ellie invites Katie to forge a bond between them and help her get herself together. Katie invites her college friends Ariel and Carmen. Ariel is obsessed with the owner of the retreat, Dr. Dan, a stereotypical self-guru verging on cult leader. His wife, Naomi, also runs the retreat, but Ariel doesn't concern herself with that. Carmen doesn't have any interest in being there as she cares for four younger sisters and a sick father who she feels bad for leaving in someone else's care. But time with Katie might lead to some much needed financial assistance, so she agrees to go. The retreat is as described and it's not long before they are participating in wellness activities of all sorts, including turning in their cell phones 'to disengage' and focus on their inner bliss. Of course, it all goes downhill from there as Katie soon finds herself in a bad way with one of the other quirky guests on the retreat, who happens to be obsessed with Katie's Shelby Spade childhood character. Not all is at it seems at this tranquil retreat and the women begin to question what exactly they are capable of and just how transformed they want to find themselves after this weekend. This type of story may have been told before, but it tells it well. I think there could have been less foreshadowing of the eventual perpetrator because you won't be surprised. Where the author tried to make the character's motivations vague and ambiguous, she really just gave it away too early. It's still fun to hang in there and see how it all comes about, in a deliciously gory way. The epilogue should expand on not just the last one standing, but also on the aftereffects on the retreat - does it continue on somehow? And the characters that don't make it - how do the events and their deaths effect those around them? Is the truth of their actions revealed to anyone that wasn't part of the retreat? Had these questions been answered I would have been more satisfied with the conclusion. It doesn't change the fact that this was a fun thriller that I found hard to put down until it was over! Many thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
DG_Reads 10 days ago
Rating: 4 / 5 I received an uncorrected digital galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge Books and Netgalley for the chance to read and review! THE RETREAT by Sherri Smith follows four women attending a wellness retreat. They are meant to clear their minds, drink the psychoactive tea and emerge from the retreat completely renewed and refreshed. Katie is a former child star, down on her luck after too much partying and a drunken text that alienated many of her remaining fans. She is invited to the retreat by her soon-to-be sister-in-law Ellie as a bonding experience. Unsure about spending time along with Ellie, Katie invites along a couple friends, Carmen and Ariel as a buffer. Each woman has her own difficulties in life and her own reasons for attending the retreat. The book opens with a very strong hook, with one of the women attesting that the retreat did indeed transform her... into a killer. The prologue actually opens mid-murder, throwing the reader right into the middle of the action, though not entirely clear as to what is going on. From there, we are jumped back to three days prior as Ellie and Katie are preparing to leave home and head for the retreat. Each character in this book is full of secrets, from the main four to the background characters. No one is really who they at first seem to be. The novel is written in third person, with sections alternating between the perspectives of Katie, Ellie, Carmen and Ariel. Over time, the characters reveal more about why they are here and what messes they left behind in the real world. None of these characters is exactly lovable, and they all make some very bad choices, but each is built to be very complex with good and bad qualities. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author handled the different voices well. With narratives that bounce around from multiple perspectives, sometimes I feel drawn to some voices more than others, but here I thought it was kept very balanced and there was no confusion for me as to who the POV belonged to at any given time. In terms of drawbacks, I felt that the pacing could have been tightened up at times. Friday is largely about getting to the retreat, meeting the characters and such, most of which is essential build up. We know from the beginning that they will drink the tea on Sunday and that the murder will happen on Sunday, but a lot of time is spent on Saturday that wasn't critical to the plot. I had mixed feelings on the ending. I think it was fairly easy to start predicting who the culprit was partway through, but the motives and what ultimately would happen remained a mystery. Some of the twists that Smith throws in were definitely surprises which I enjoyed. I felt like I wanted a little more resolution in terms of some of the characters' backstories, but the main plot was wrapped up well. If you are looking for a good suspense story, THE RETREAT is one you'll want to check out!
Janice Lombardo 11 days ago
The premise of this book is of Katie, a former childhood star, who is running out of money, is probably drinking too much, sleepwalking and tending to give her money away. This, especially to her brother and his fiancé, Ellie, who live in the same 2-flat as Katie. Ellie talks Katie into going to a weekend wellness retreat at The Sanctuary. Katie also brings along (and pays for) two of her college pals from a decade ago. From the start, the retreat is weird. All vegan and no cell phones is expected - but not some of the challenges they encounter. There are about a dozen people at the retreat including Dr. Dave and his wife, Naomi, as their hosts. They are an interesting pair... Things get even stranger when someone wakes up with a bloody knife and one of the participants has "left abruptly". As the four friends become more entrenched in the mysteries that continue to pile up at this place, the reader has more and more questions... A good read. Many Thanks to Macmillian - Tor/Forge and NetGalley for a good read!
Janice Lombardo 11 days ago
The premise of this book is of Katie, a former childhood star, who is running out of money, is probably drinking too much, sleepwalking and tending to give her money away. This, especially to her brother and his fiancé, Ellie, who live in the same 2-flat as Katie. Ellie talks Katie into going to a weekend wellness retreat at The Sanctuary. Katie also brings along (and pays for) two of her college pals from a decade ago. From the start, the retreat is weird. All vegan and no cell phones is expected - but not some of the challenges they encounter. There are about a dozen people at the retreat including Dr. Dave and his wife, Naomi, as their hosts. They are an interesting pair... Things get even stranger when someone wakes up with a bloody knife and one of the participants has "left abruptly". As the four friends become more entrenched in the mysteries that continue to pile up at this place, the reader has more and more questions... A good read. Many Thanks to Macmillian - Tor/Forge and NetGalley for a good read!
Janice Lombardo 11 days ago
The premise of this book is of Katie, a former childhood star, who is running out of money, is probably drinking too much, sleepwalking and tending to give her money away. This, especially to her brother and his fiancé, Ellie, who live in the same 2-flat as Katie. Ellie talks Katie into going to a weekend wellness retreat at The Sanctuary. Katie also brings along (and pays for) two of her college pals from a decade ago. From the start, the retreat is weird. All vegan and no cell phones is expected - but not some of the challenges they encounter. There are about a dozen people at the retreat including Dr. Dave and his wife, Naomi, as their hosts. They are an interesting pair... Things get even stranger when someone wakes up with a bloody knife and one of the participants has "left abruptly". As the four friends become more entrenched in the mysteries that continue to pile up at this place, the reader has more and more questions... A good read. Many Thanks to Macmillian - Tor/Forge and NetGalley for a good read!
CaseysPlansandPages 11 days ago
From the beginning of this book I was hooked! The opening was done so well and every chapter following just kept you wanting more. Each of the four main characters came to The Sanctuary with different intentions and as I watched their stories unfold I couldn't decide which character I hated most. I love a thriller with zero likeable characters and The Retreat definitely delivered. Every time I read a new character perspective I was thinking "oh, you are definitely capable of murder. No wait, you are definitely capable of murder". The twists and turns guided perfectly into a fantastic ending! I already want to reread this book to see if I can catch onto any of the clues throughout the story. Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing an advanced copy to read & review.