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Monday, November 29, 2021

Review: The Long Weekend

Title: The Long Weekend 
Author: Fiona Palmer

Publisher: 1st December 2021 by Hachette Australia

Pages: 336 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: contemporary 

My Rating: 5 crowns


Four perfect strangers. Three days. Can one weekend away change your life? The unputdownable new drama by one of Australia’s most beloved storytellers.

Coming together for a writing workshop with bestselling author Jan Goldstein, four strangers converge upon a luxury forest retreat. But along with their notepads and laptops, each of the participants has brought some emotional baggage.

Beth is a solo parent and busy career woman haunted by a tragic car accident. Simone, the youngest at 26, is a successful Instagram star but she’s hiding behind a facade. Jamie is the only man. He’s a handsome personal trainer – but he looks out of place with a pen in his hand. Finally, Alice is a wife and mum recovering from postnatal depression. She and Jamie soon realise they are not such perfect strangers after all.

Only one thing is for sure: on this creative getaway, nothing will go according to script.

My Thoughts

I am such a fan of Fiona’s books as they are gentle and easy to read, yet at the same time fun with clever undertones for consideration. On this occasion, The Long Weekend provides a wonderful tale of friendship and love where Fiona cleverly explores how we must live and learn from our mistakes and, in fact, appreciate how they have made us stronger and into the person we are today. 

‘Through the flames had come a friendship, two kindred spirits who had lost so much and needed to find their way back to happiness.’

Fiona always guarantees a story with strong female leads, a certain amount of camaraderie and the requisite romance that is the icing on top. She investigates through her key leading characters, contemporary issues that are sure to speak to many who read it. So you are in for a treat as there are stories within stories that both engage and entertain her readers. Fiona has a real knack for making the characters so real that you could easily make friends with them yourself, sitting down to have a coffee and a chat.

“Looks can be deceiving, Simone. We all like to put on brave faces and pretend everything is alright when inside we are a ball of twisted emotions.”

The Long Weekend sees four strangers come to a Writers Weekend and, with the author herself, all will confront a past that there is no running from. It is a real discovery of self with lessons to be learned. Issues addressed include things such as PTSD/trauma, self image and post natal depression just to name a few. This is where Fiona really shines as she is so adept at weaving both character story and personal growth into a highly engaging narrative. Some really worthy issues are put under the spotlight and handled masterfully by Fiona. 

‘How weird is it that we can end up doing stuff we don't like, but can’t seem to find our way out? And yet sometimes the solution is easy - just stop.’ Simone sighed heavily. 'Why is stopping so hard?’

I love supporting Aussie authors and Fiona’s books are always so satisfying. From moments that make you smile (yes! I’m referring to the Jamie Fraser aka Outlander reference LOL), to moments that emotionally challenge you, all beautifully blended into a tale of friendship and growth. Fiona makes her readers aware of some heartbreaking issues and peoples vulnerabilities through the range of relationship storylines. However, ultimately she gives us a feel good story that demonstrates that we all really need to make the most of each and every day.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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