Friday 16 July 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness - Laura Bambrey

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 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 . . .
Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness! Where you can learn to move mountains by picking up the smallest of stones…

What did I think?

I LOVED THIS BOOK!  Yes, I'm shouting but if just one person hears me then it's a job well done.  Laura Bambrey's awesome debut novel should come on prescription as it's not only perfect escapism for our troubled times but it's guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.  

Tori is such a wonderful character and I loved her from the start.  Owner of the blog, The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness, she readily admits that she is lonely but she has built up a following online that reminds her that there are other lonely people out there.  With no family or friends in her life, Tori has a select group of 3 virtual friends she has never met but who she loves dearly.  When she is invited to review a wellbeing retreat for her blog, Tori must step out from behind her screen and meet some real people.

Everyone at the retreat is there for a reason, some to escape the real world and others to work through deep-rooted issues.  I don't think Tori realises how much she fits into the latter category until the magic of the retreat starts to work on her.  The double whammy of events in Tori's past resulted in her pulling down and bolting the shutters but her new friends at the retreat have the key and together they have the strength to overcome any difficulty.

I feel like I went to the retreat with Tori as I found myself looking at my own life, particularly how I think about and talk to myself, and I don't think I have ever used the Kindle highlight function so much.  I loved the completely honest and enlightening excerpts from Tori's blog at the beginning of every chapter and I must have highlighted most of them.  I need to read the book again just to revisit these pearls of wisdom because I absolutely raced through the whole book in my eagerness to get back to The Farm to find out what would happen next.

Beautifully written, The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness is a completely awesome debut.  It's uplifting, heartwarming and surprisingly enlightening.  Perfectly plotted, it's painted like a masterpiece with just the right amount of shade so it's not all sweetness and light.  It's so good that I will be reading it again and if that's not the highest recommendation I can give, I don't know what is.  A stunning debut and an absolute must read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from:

Follow the tour:

No comments:

Post a Comment