Five very different women, each carrying her own secret, meet on the Jersey shore for a retreat: Embracing the New You: Reinventing Yourself After Fifty. A story about change, self-acceptance, and sisterhood.
The flyer reads: Embracing the New You: Reinventing Yourself After Fifty. Liv, Andi, Julia, Markie, and Cee Cee each arrive at the women’s retreat with her own agenda and her own secret. Retreat director, Bree, is called away for a family emergency and the five women are left on their own to deal with their differences, reveal their secrets and find what each is seeking.
Will differences divide or will sisterhood prevail?
Five women, each strangers with their life out of alignment, come together on the Jersey shore expecting eight days of respite, which might put their lives back on track. What each woman did not expect was to find new friends.
It’s one thing to be young and vibrant and know your dreams are ahead, but it’s quite another when you’re 50+ and realize you’ve been so busy holding life together for others, your own dreams have slipped away.
When Julia, Markie, Andi, Liv, and Cee Cee first meet, they find themselves stranded together on the front porch steps of Siochain – the women’s retreat whose name means peace. It’s easy to see these women are vastly different, and their personalities clash or cradle each other almost immediately.
Upon their arrival, Bree, the director of the retreat, is nowhere to be found. With the day’s heat bearing down, and menopausal Andi already complaining of heat flashes, Markie decides to search for a hidden key. “It’s not breaking in if you have a key,” she assures them. Once inside, they find out that Bree has been called away on a family emergency, and with each women desperate to get something from the “Reinventing Yourself After 50!” retreat, they decide to stay. During the week, the strengths and weaknesses of each woman come into play. We learn about their life struggle, as well as the secret each woman carries with her.
Romance is not a key element in this story, although love makes its own powerful point. So much so, in fact, that the reader may find themselves redefining their own understanding of it.
I found myself totally immersed in the lives of these five women. Their journey felt personal, as if they had shared their secrets with only me.
The character development in this book was superb! Only a masterful writer could create the individual backstory behind each of these characters. Readers, especially those who are 50+, may feel as though they’ve been on a women’s retreat themselves after finishing this wonderful novel.