I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness by Laura Bambrey
Published by Simon & Schuster UK Genres: Chicklit, Contemporary, Women's Literary Fiction
Source: from Netgalley
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 . . .
This is Laura’s debut book which was submitted to the Books and the City One Day Digital Originals programme. One of my favourite authors Hedi Swain was first published through this programme so I know that the Books and the City gang know how to pick fantastic authors.
The Beginners Guide to Loneliness is about Tori Williamson. Tori has had a lot of struggles and hurt in her life and has become very isolated. I really liked Tori. I had so much empathy for her and I felt like a lot of her feelings resonated with me. We all feel lonely from time to time and the way that Tori describes how you can be in a big crowd of people but still feel lonely was something I could really understand.
I loved The Farm. Lizzie and Ted are such lovely people and what they are trying to achieve is quite remarkable. I think we could all benefit from a little bit of time somewhere like The Farm to just switch off and really learn to enjoy the moment.
This book had some powerful themes of grief, guilt and betrayal. Laura does an excellent job of navigating these sensitive subjects and making you as the reader feel involved in the journey the characters take.
This is not a self-help book but I came away feeling like it had touched some parts of me that are not often talked about. This book would make an excellent book club choice with lots of discussion points and areas to think about.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Books and the City for letting me take part in this tour and for my copy of this book.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: