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The Retreat

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  646 ratings  ·  185 reviews
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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Forge
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Average rating 3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  646 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really hard to rate because the writing was snarky funny and the premise was SO good. I appreciate the way Smith writes and will absolutely read her again. Every single character was horrible and outrageous in ways that made this book really entertaining to read.

For me, however, it was clear far too early in the book which character was probably behind the intriguing events that happen in the first few pages. I was hoping it was a red herring but alas. So, I knew "who" way too early
Oct 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Half a star...

Absolute Worst Read of 2019 Award

This review may come across as harsh.
Usually my low star reviews are infused with a bit of humor and mock outrage in order to make the process more palatable. I cannot with this read.
My experience of this book was very poor and most unpleasant. In fact, it is one of the worst experiences of reading that I have ever had.

There are four whiny, horrid, unlikable and duplicitous women. We are given very outlandish and mostly unbelievable reasons why
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and simple premise which centres around four women attending a wellbeing retreat, in hoping for a relaxing tranquil experience only for hidden secrets and death to arise.

I wanted something quick and easy to read and this certainly delivered that, whilst the narrative is told through the four POV’s it was the main protagonist Katie Manning’s storyline that really held my attention.
Quite simply her name was too similar to former Doctor Who companion Katy Manning that I inevitably ke
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
The Retreat, a mystery thriller, was a solid 4 stars.
The Retreat centers around four women- Katie, Carmen, Ellie, and Ariel, that attend a weekend wellness retreat. Each of these women live vastly different lives and each have secrets that they don’t want to get out.
I found The Retreat to be one of the most interesting books I’ve read this year-I found the characters were well-developed (though not particularly likable) and the ending was phenomenal, never saw it coming! Highly recommended to
Erin Clemence
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, kindle
Thanks to Chelsea for recommending this book to me! Special thanks also to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me this novel in exchange for an honest review.

“The Retreat” is yet another holistic-health-retreat book (think Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers), with a dark and suspenseful twist.

Katie is a former child star, surviving on her dwindling childhood earnings and trying to find herself after the fame of her youth. At the insistence of her brother, she decides to get to kn
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is difficult to write this review without giving spoilers away, but I shall try :) I give this one 4* out of 5*. Actually 4.5* :) 

First of all we have got Katie. She is an ex-child actress, whose career ended when she was young, due to a tragic incident causing facial disfigurement. She riding on the somewhat waning fame of that early success, but finds herself a bit lost in the world. She's currently living with her brother, or should I say, he is living with her. He looks out for her and k
Michelle Only Wants to Read
Holy cow! This book was dark .

In a similar fashion to Nine Perfect Strangers, our characters, Katie Manning, former child star, her three besties, and her future sister-in-law, gather for a life-changing weekend with a promise that Ayahuasca tea will change their lives forever.

None of the characters are particularly likable. If that's a deal-breaker for you, then this story may not be your favorite. This book is not here to please you with characters who you may empathize with. They're real
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book reviews on

I had absolutely no idea what to expect from The Retreat, but I found myself completely absorbed in this tense and gripping tale of secrets and betrayal.

Sherri Smith has created some great characters in Katie, Ariel, Carmen and Ellie and the rest of the cast of people who have gathered at 'the retreat' - each character has their own flaws but also various likable characteristics too. Katie, a has-been (once a child television star), heads to an elusive retreat
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Although the premise was intriguing, this thriller just didn't...well, thrill! Characters I couldn't connect with, plot that seemed to drag, interspersed with bits of rather trashy sex and other risky behavior--on a 3-day weekend retreat! Quite a suspenseful ending rescued it from 2 star range and tied it back to the horror of the first chapter but with some nice twists.

I received an arc of this new novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Recommend for a quick beach read.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work, work-books
It was one of the best books I've read, the story was gripping, the ending was unpredictable and the whole plot was original.
Emma Shaw
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
"This place made a killer out of me."

The Retreat is a dark and twisted tale of secrets, lies, hate, revenge and murder. It starts with a chilling prologue that had me immediately hooked.

Former child star Katie Manning has been wandering aimlessly through life ever since her T.V show ended over a decade ago. Her recent planned comeback has been scrapped afer she drunkenly wrote a homophobic tweet, leaving her with no idea what to do next. Her brother Nate encourages her to go on a wellness retre
Karen R
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is the story of four dysfunctional women carrying some heavy baggage as they join together for a weekend retreat. This will be a life-altering experience. Unfortunately, the retreat seemed more like a week to me. A cauldron of stirred up secrets that become repetitive, the story losing momentum midway.

Katie is an aging child actor who is introduced as an alcohol-loving mean girl, Carmen, an anxiety-ridden, thief, gullible, obsessive Arial, and Ellie, a supermodel type, the outsider of the b
Liz Barnsley
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Review to follow for the tour.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CW: Violence, sexual assault, sexual assault of a child, addiction issues, mental health issues.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Titan Books.

When former child actress Katie Manning decides to go on a special retreat with her two college friends and her soon-to-be sister-in-law, she thinks that the weekend is going to be a bit of yoga not taken seriously, and more hiding from her problems. But when Katie wakes up covered in blood and a knife in her bed, and another guest
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really really good and did not go in the direction I was expecting.

This book follows, child star Katie, who after being attacked by her manager and now 27 years old is on the path to post Hollywood destruction. Katie, her brothers fiance, Ellie and Katie's two friends, Ariel and Carmen, go on a luxury retreat weekend, to try and deal with their own problems but only one leaves.

I think this was very well written, very tense and quite pacey.

I liked how there wasn't 100s of characters a
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-netgalley
** 2 Stars **
Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Unfortunately this one just didn't work for me. Being portrayed as a mystery type thriller, I just didn't connect. The Retreat begins with four women who attend a wellness retreat for the weekend. There was a lot of drama and secrets but I just didn't find any of characters likable. I lost interested pretty early on and couldn't hook myself in therefore this was a struggle for me to finish. Seems that I have an unpopular opinion when reading other re
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
I am clearly in the minority of goodreads reviewers as at the time I finished this book, it seems to have appealed to a number of people -- but for me this book was just OK. It was easy to read and moved along quickly, but I couldn't really connect with the characters or understand some of their decisions/actions, and it wasn't a book that I was dying to delve into each night. Thank you to the publisher and author for providing an advance copy of the book.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was kindly sent a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for a honest review.

I very rarely give a book one star however this one did nothing for me what so ever. I was quite intrigued by the retreat story line as I’ve read a few other books with that setting and quite enjoyed them. I just felt that this book exhausted the whole retreat storyline it became more about drugs and I didn’t find it very original in the slightest. I also detested every single character and after about 30
Christine O'Brien
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC. It was such a wild entertaining ride from beginning to end. I was immediately hooked and there were so many twist and turns I didn’t see coming. I haven’t read anything from this author and certainly won’t be my last. I didn’t really know if I was going to enjoy a book about a retreat but wow it was a lot more than that. It’s a great psychological thriller that deals with four different women. Each women definitely brought an element of sur ...more
Thank you to Sherri Smith, Forge Books, and NetGalley for a free copy of The Retreat in exchange for an honest review.

This story focuses on four women- Katie, Carmen, Ellie, and Ariel. It goes through describing each of their lives while describing what is currently happening at a "getaway" weekend retreat. From reading this, you see that all four women have starkly different ways of life and the things that they've been through. The best part was the secrets that each woman was trying to keep u
Shanna Davis
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Retreat is a refreshingly original thriller with biting, sharp humor that keeps the reader wanting more. The realness of the well-developed characters pulls the reader into the weekend at The Sanctuary, a retreat where nothing is as it seems, and a deranged member of the group gathered there slowly enacts a long-held plot to kill. The head-snapping action & shocking conclusion make this a fantastic addition to the thriller genre!

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to give this novel a
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I love a good group vacation to a remote location, gone way wrong with bodies stacking up, so this had me from the summary. This also appealed to me because I have been in a book slump and thought a good psychological suspense story could shake me out of it. I didn't find it terribly suspenseful after meeting all our narrators but this still did the trick.

I very much liked Smith's turn of phrase & I truly laughed out loud as I read. Biting, wry wit goes a good way with me, so that was to the go
I was excited to read a story about a thriller at a wellness retreat. Add to that a former child star, female friendships and suspicious supporting characters, this could have been remarkable but to me it fell short.

I liked the portrayal of friendships, how friends can hide things from each other and how people can grow apart. Katie is an intriguing main character even though she is pretty unreliable and has issues. The book doesn’t shy away from showing how so-called wellness experts exploit vu
Nicole ☠ "psychological" thrill me❗
Wow! The opening pulls you in directly into the story and gives you such a sense of foreboding that I was so anxious to see what was to come. I quickly became enthralled with the four main characters. Each with their own twisted back story, I still can't decide who ended up shocking me the most. With each character though, I found myself fully invested and could not wait to see how their stories would play out and whose hands their fates would lie in. I loved the writing style and the wildly ori ...more
Alice Blanchard
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the instant I started reading “The Retreat,” I became ensnared by Sherri Smith’s exhilarating, suspenseful story. It begins with this great line:

“This place had made a killer out of her.”

Katie is a former child actress who yearns for significance as an adult. She gets together with three other women—her future sister-in-law and two friends—for a wellness retreat, hoping to experience a new-age type of cleansing that involves a special tea.

But nothing is what it appears to be.

The character
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, drama
Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Shout out to this Winnipeg are twisted and dark and awesome! Definitely a Jennifer Hillier vibe coming out of Manitoba!

PLOT SUMMARY: Former child star Katie is off to a wellness retreat with her soon to be sister in law Ellie. Ellie is hoping to bond with her fiance’s sister, but Katie impedes these plans when she invites her college friends Ariel and Carmen to join them. Off to a precarious start, what else will go wrong this weekend? What secrets will be revealed? And w
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
Kate Manning is a trouble child star who thinks a wellness retreat, suggested by her brother’s fiancée Ellie, my be just the cure for her car crash of a life. She invites her two best friends, Carmen and Ariel.

When they get there everything quickly turns into a nightmare, until there is only one left standing.

The Retreat is slow burn psychological thriller with a hint of menace and plenty of creepiness running throughout.

Each of the characters were interesting, each with some secret they’re hidi
Holly (epiloguebookblog)
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From start to finish, THE RETREAT is a riveting tale of friendship, family, "wellness"...and deception.

The locale, a remote wellness retreat, sets the scene for suspense, as the increasingly bizarre methods of Dr. Dan and his wife Naomi keep participants (and therefore readers) unsettled. In a digital age, surrendering one's electronic devices is disconcerting to say the least; even more so when surrounded by, and urged to be vulnerable around, complete strangers. In addition, the lodging accom
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The Retreat by Sherri Smith is a blend of mystery/thriller genres. I like cozy mysteries and this reminded me of those books but with a suspense twist. It was a predictable and easy read to enjoy over a cup of tea. The atmosphere was well done but I absolutely hated the main characters. I found it hard to connect to any of them but then that is not the point or focus of the book. Overall, I found it to be worth reading and I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Sherri Smith has previously written two historical fiction novels for Simon & Schuster UK. When not writing she spends time with her family, three 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. FOLLOW ME DOWN (Forge Books, March 2017) is her first thriller. ...more

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