Tantor Audio. Feb. 2023. 8:43 hrs. ISBN 9798765066348. $19.99. F
In Hemming’s (Throw Down Your Shadows) bighearted sophomore novel, protagonist Agnes develops a serious case of imposter syndrome just as she finishes her book tour. As a child, Agnes escaped into the woods to avoid her dysfunctional family and now worries that her best-selling debut novel, a celebration of the natural world, might be the only book she has in her. On a plane trip, Agnes finds a welcome distraction from analyzing her writer’s block in Jack, a film director and ex-husband of Geia, the former actress and founder of the Goddess wellness brand (think Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop). Jack loves Agnes’s book, and the two develop feelings for each other, despite his awkwardly close relationship with Geia. Things get even weirder when Geia invites Agnes to a 10-day Greek island retreat celebrating all things Goddess. Narrator Ellie Gossage’s bright, expressive tones are a perfect match for this engaging story, and because she fully invests in each of Hemming’s well-drawn, quirky characters, listeners will be completely hooked as the retreat goes down the rabbit hole.
VERDICT This playfully imaginative, enthusiastically narrated satire of influencers and the wellness industry would be a fun book club choice.
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