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 post-natal 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.
Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:
I thoroughly enjoyed The Long Weekend. Jan, Jamie, Beth, Simone and Alice all end up at a Writer’s Retreat for the weekend, thinking they will be learning about writing books. But instead, they learn more about themselves, and each other, than they could have imagined. The story telling is engaging, and keeps you interested right up until the end. A great book to read on a rainy day! Lisa, QLD, 5 Stars
I haven’t quite finished this book yet but I’m absolutely loving it. I love the characters depth and quirky behaviours and was involved right from the start. This is something winner for me. Kim, NSW, 5 Stars
Four strangers are spending a weekend at a writer’s workshop. Each with their own personal secrets and reasons for joining the retreat brings them together with more in common than they could imagine. Emotional baggage to unpack in spades. A very enjoyable and engaging read with twists that keeps you guessing along the way. I loved this book, my first Fiona Palmer read and will not be my last. Thank you Better Reading and Hachette for introducing me to a great storyteller. Kim, NSW, 5 Stars
The Long Weekend was fun to read and captured my attention from the start. It was interesting to learn each characters secrets as they slowly unfolded. This book was an easy read and I’m looking forward to reading more stories from Fiona Palmer. Natalie, NSW, 5 Stars
Four perfect strangers – a writing retreat with a best selling author and 3 days together – What could go wrong ! This is my first read from Fiona Palmer and I was hooked from chapter one. Being a WA girl myself, I loved reading about familiar places and placing myself right there with the characters. Set in a picturesque forest retreat, Simone – the Insta star, Jamie the hot gym owner, Alice the stay at home mum and Beth the single working mum round off the 4 folks in for an interesting ride. Secrets will be exposed as lives unravel and truths are revealed. Is everyone a stranger to one another or is there more to this pretty picture. The Long Weekend was an absolute gem and brought to life some very relatable characters that you just couldn’t get enough of. Great stories intertwined and made the overall read so enjoyable from start to finish. Would definitely be recommending to others and can’t wait to read more of and support this amazing author. Suzie, WA, 5 Stars
This book felt like a long weekend; relaxed and comfortable, a breath of fresh air. It was an easy and engaging read, with good pace and a well thought out surprise reveal, that took me longer than normal to guess. If you’re looking for book for your long weekend, look no further. Tracey, NSW, 5 Stars
Great read! Well written, relatable characters, I didn’t want to put it down! Loved the way the story unfolded. The stories of the main characters intertwined well, and it was easy to keep up with what was happening with the individual story lines. Well done to the author! Eliza, QLD, 5 Stars
This was a tapestry of characters that unexpectedly were interwoven. Characters did not always lead you where you thought they were going, so I found it to be a good journey. A book with different characters lives to follow along the way is one of my most enjoyed reads. Thoroughly enjoyed the twists and how they were finally resolved. Jan, VIC, 5 Stars
I was lucky enough to be selected to preview The Long Weekend by Fiona Palmer and what a privilege it was to read! A real page turner where I found myself not being able to put the book down. I just needed to find out what was happening next. Four strangers attend a writers retreat for the weekend. Of course they all have their own secrets. Everyone has secrets. Very intriguing the whole way through – you never really can know someone properly, can you? Such different people, each with their own unique story to tell. Reading through I felt as though I too was on the retreat; that feeling of getting away for a weekend. Getting to know each individual and finding out about their lives along the way. Highly recommend reading this novel, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks again to Better Reading for the opportunity! Amanda, VIC, 5 Stars
I read The Long Weekend on the Christmas long weekend. I couldn’t put it down. It is fun, heartwarming, mysterious. I just wanted to find out more and more about each character. It’s a real feel good book. Highly recommend. Melanie, NSW, 5 Stars
Loved this book – the characters were revealed gradually, allowing you to connect to them individually. I loved the empathy and camaraderie that evolved, and would highly recommend. Alanna, QLD, 5 Stars
I read this book in 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was the perfect feel good holiday read. Found the characters totally engaging and just couldn’t wait to find out more about each of their stories as the book progressed. Fans of Liane Moriarty will love this book! Justine, NSW, 5 Stars
Once I got into this book I could not put it down. Four people go to a writers retreat but all is not what it seems. I will not go further into what happens but I guarantee that you will enjoy this read. Fiona Palmer makes you feel you are there in the story watching events unfold, it is only when their greatest secrets are told that these four can go on with their lives and write a great story. Christina, QLD, 5 Stars
I found this book captivating from start to finish, with engaging characters that gradually revealed their past lives and experiences to complete strangers (or almost complete strangers) with surprising results eventuating from just a weekend together at a writers’ retreat. An enjoyable book that was hard to put down. Diana, VIC, 5 Stars
Beth, a mother of one, is asked by her sister Poppy to take time out and go on a book writing retreat run by Jan Goldstein, renowned author, in Yallingup, Western Australia, a beautiful seaside area. There she meets Jamie who is an owner of gym, Simone Kroft who is an Instagrammer and Alice, a mother of two. Beth wonders what they have in common to want to write a book. They are introduced to Jan Goldstein and she gives them ideas about writing. She asks them to write about their deepest secrets but what will come of that. Letting out their secrets to a group of strangers!! Soon secrets are revealed, the group finds out that even Jan has a few mysteries. This book had a lot of “Oh” moments, thinking you had sorted out a secret and then you left wondering. I loved this book and it was a great page turner for me. #BRPreview @betterreadingau @goodreads @fionapalmer. Sue, NSW, 5 Stars
The Long Weekend is a story of love vs loss; family and friends; resilience through trauma; lust vs love; and most importantly friendships. Secrets are at the forefront of the book and each chapter reveals new pieces of the puzzles. A nice easy read. Ammie, NSW, 4 Stars
The Long Weekend by Fiona Palmer kept me entertained from beginning to end. The characters were easy to relate to, it didn’t take long to become involved in their lives and all the twists and turns. Being a book lover who would have loved to be able to write such entertaining stories that the reader feels part of made this book especially interesting. Top marks to Fiona for another great story. Judy, WA, 4 Stars
Well, what a surprising read! I was a bit hesitant but really loved this character driven, fast paced story. Each of the characters are so well fleshed out, with an interesting story and plenty of drama behind their façade of everyday life. I loved the unexpected bonds they formed and the transformations by the end of the story. I enjoyed this feel-good story which was easy to read – I even enjoyed the twist and confrontation at the end. I also loved the theme about letting go of past baggage and moving on with your life. Recommend – 4 stars! Rochelle, VIC, 4 Stars
The idea of going on a retreat sounds wonderful, and that’s what drew me to this novel. I was intrigued right from the start, wanting to know more about the back stories of each character and their reasons for being at this writers retreat. Every person has their own story and no-one is exactly what they seem upon first meeting. This book reveals each characters story really well and my feelings towards them changes from annoyance, with some of them, to compassion. In many stories, characters have a happy ending but I don’t get to find out what happens to them some time down the track. Fiona Palmer does a terrific job of having a Where Are They Now style chapter, where that curiosity is well and truly satisfied as I got to find out where each person ended up long after the retreat. I’m excited to pass this book on to friends who love a bit of an escape from every day life, and like to find characters with relatable stories and issues. I’d never read anything from Fiona Palmer prior to The Long Weekend, but I’m keen to read more from her. Rebekah, NSW, 4 Stars
On the face of it this story is about four apparent strangers and their teacher who go on a weekend writing workshop. But it is so much more. Each person has their own reason for attending and their own battles in their lives. We get to know each of them really well. And then, there’s mystery and intrigue which keeps you turning the page. A really well written, gripping story. Kerry, WA, 4 Stars
Sometimes you just need a book that is a nice feel good easy read. Well The Long Weekend hits the spot. I loved the look into the characters lives and that the characters were just so different but all together for just the one reason. I loved this book. Janet, NSW, 4 Stars
The Long Weekend by Fiona Palmer is an engaging read with several likeable and relatable characters with secrets to hide. Each person has a twist to their story which gets revealed in little bits throughout the story I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the way it all came together. An easy read for the holiday period which will leave a smile on your face. Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to review this book. Sally, NSW, 4 Stars
A book that shows you never know what people have gone through and their stories and what is behind others actions until you spend time to hear their stories without judgement and understanding that everyone makes decisions whether appearing good or bad. Plot was unexpected in the direction it headed never revealing in the first couple of chapters where the plot line was heading. Danielle, VIC, 4 Stars
The cover blurb reads “four perfect strangers” , but should say “imperfect strangers”. They come together at a writing retreat for a variety of reasons and their “secrets” are slowly exposed over the course of the weekend. I did find myself becoming involved with the various characters as they slowly revealed themselves to each other and wishing for them a happy outcome. I did, however, find Jamie’s attraction to Beth’s scars a little creepy on a couple of occasions. Overall a fun read with a satisfying outcome. Sue, NSW, 4 Stars
What a wonderful way to spend a long weekend at a “Writers Retreat”…wouldn’t we all like to do that. The four lucky strangers who have a place at the retreat are Beth, Jamie, Alice, and Simone. And they all bring secrets to the retreat which Jan Goldstein, who is running the retreat and a published author, is very keen to find out what they are. As the weekend progresses all is not what it seems. Secrets, lies, love and loneliness are all things these strangers have in common but telling their stories does not come easily. Can three days bring them all closer or will it cause pain and unrest. The Long Weekend is another great read from Fiona Palmer and I would recommend everyone read it. Dianne, QLD, 4 Stars
Four strangers, all with secrets, are on a weekend writing retreat with a best selling author so what could go wrong. Beth, a single mum physically scarred from a car accident. Jamie the good looking owner of a gym. Beth, the yummy mummy who is recovering from post natal depression and Simone the Instagram blogger who has reinvented herself. All four are hoping to learn and grow from the weekend retreat but the emotional baggage that has come along for the ride is more than anyone bargained for. This is an easy weekend escape read. The characters are likeable and there are a lot of surprise elements that unfold. It is amazing how one weekend can change lives. Karyn, ACT, 4 Stars
Fiona Palmer is one of my favourite Australian authors. Her characters are all very real and relatable. This book centres around four characters, 3 women and 1 man who spend a weekend at a writing workshop at a forest retreat. Many hidden secrets are revealed which changes all their lives. Gail, WA, 3 Stars
An extremely easy to read Women’s Fiction novel from Australian author Fiona Palmer about a group of aspiring writers who join a writer’s retreat for the weekend to get inspiration for their works in progress. All the attendees are hiding something from their life, but these secrets gradually come out. Not only are they keeping a secret but the writer holding the workshop has an even bigger secret which threatens to derail them all. Their lives will all change forever. A great book for your summer holiday! Thank you to Better Reading for the copy of this book for review purposes. Janine, VIC, 3 Stars