book blog · book review

The Writers’ Retreat by Indu Balachandran




As young Amby Balan comes across an advertisement for a writers’ workshop in Greece, she cannot pack her bags soon enough. In this laugh-out-loud work of chick-lit, Amby embarks on an unforgettable adventure to finally discover her true self and possibly find love on a romantic Greek island.





*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads


*Thank you to the publisher, Jacaranda Books, and NetGalley, for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

Three Indian girls, who don’t know each other but share the same passion, saw the catchy ad online about a writer’s course in the majestic island of Crete in Greece. Despite having careers a lot of people would die for, the pull of making their dream come true is too strong to ignore. Meet Amby Balan, a math whiz working in a bank turned ghost Twitter writer of the hottie Kollywood actor. She always dreamed of being a famous screenplay-writer and she thinks the new job will somehow help her honed her skill. Bobby Varma, the award-winning ad writer who wishes to be a travel writer. Then, there’s Mini Cherian, a popular children’s book author but secretly itching to write an erotic novel. Amby and Bobby had to quit their respective jobs just so they can pursue their passion. The three of them are convinced that the retreat will be a great help in reaching their dreams. And off they go to Greece. When they met at the airport, they became friends instantly and spend the rest of the course doing stuff together, sharing about their lives and their dreams. And on that beautiful island, a great friendship was formed and they learned a whole lot more about themselves than expected. Will they be brave enough to follow their dreams?

I requested this book on a whim. I just finished reading a book that was set on Greece, too, and the island vibe is still lingering. I’m not expecting much and it’s a good thing since I really enjoyed the story. It is light and fun and quite entertaining. Amby is the main character and is a very likeable one. The story is focused on her since she is also the narrator. Her voice is such a delight to read. She’s always been a dutiful daughter and even considering meeting the guy her parents think would be a good fit for her. And yet it is interesting how she quits her corporate job to become a Twitter writer for a celebrity so she can follow her dream to become a screenplay-writer for romantic comedies. Bobby and Mini are as fun to know as Amby, as well. Their stories are as interesting as Amby and I think I would appreciate it better if the two girls share their own perspective. The setting, of course, is beautiful. Makes you want to pack bags and head off to Greece. I wish. It is also good to read about the Indian culture which is truly fascinating.

This book is not only fun and humorous, it is also well-written, plus the cover is lovely. It is an entertaining read about friendship, self-discovery and a bit of romance. Although, I’m not so sold on the romance. I feel like it was just a filler for the book to be a romantic comedy. Despite that, I still enjoyed reading The Writer’s Retreat and I would love to read more from the author.




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