fiction / horror / mystery / review / suspense

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

The Writing Retreat was really a wacky, over-the-top horror-thriller. Unfortunately, it was so badly paced and written that it flopped. It should have leaned into how impossible and camp the setup was but never did. It was almost embarrassing to read.

I was puzzled the whole time about when it was supposed to take place. It seemed to be current (cell phones, influencers, Instagram) but the 30-year-old main character’s mom supposedly escaped the Holocaust at age 2 which would make her at least in her late 70s. Which is possible but a little unusual. The mother also had a “slightly younger” recent second husband who had teenagers which again is possible but would have meant he had children at around 60 years old.

The author who invites them also must be rather elderly (judging from her publication dates and subject matter of her books) but as you will see as the book goes on in is rather spry.

I don’t know why authors link parts in their books to specific times and places if they aren’t going to be sure they make sense. The two Holocaust references (and one to the AIDS epidemic) establish a firm timeline that is off from everything else written and is completely inconsequential to the rest of the book.

I had confused this author with her sister thanks to their name and similar taste in book covers. I can’t imagine that was unintentional.

One thought on “The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

  1. Pingback: What I Read in March 2023 | Rachel Reads Books

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