The Long Weekend, Gilly Macmillan

An off white cover with two black trees growing together across the surface.

I’ve realized after writing this review that it’s fairly ranty. Sorry in advance for that.

Books like The Long Weekend make me wish star ratings weren’t a thing. This story goes from bad, to worse, to unbelievable, to utterly messy. The first half of the book was just one conglomeration of repetition: repeated thoughts, repeated actions, and text. I almost gave up because it was insufferable, but I plugged on, regretfully.

The second half of the book lost the plot and felt like a “how much can we get away with before people call shenanigans?”

There aren’t really chapters. The book is broken up amongst 3 days, so you get 1/3 of the book with each day. I would have screamed at the injustice, but the author was always switching perspectives which at least gave you a space to stop when you’ve just had too much.

I’ve seen a few reviews that questioned the letter because it contradicts a plot point, and I agree that’s a significant continuity error that was ignored. It undoes a lot of this planning. This is a book you’re glad to see end. But because I did indeed get to the end, that’s worth something.

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About the Book

Three couples

Two bodies

One secret

Dark Fell Barn is a “perfectly isolated” retreat, or so says its website when Jayne books a reservation for her friends. A quiet place, far removed from the rest of the world, is exactly what they need.

The women arrive for a girls’ night ahead of their husbands. There’s ex-Army Jayne, hardened and serious, but also damaged. Ruth, the driven doctor and new mother who is battling demons of her own. Young Emily, just wed and insecure, the newest addition of this tight-knit band. Missing this year is Edie, who was the glue holding them together, until her husband died suddenly.

But what they hoped would be a relaxing break soon turns to horror. Upon arrival at Dark Fell Barn, the women find a devastating note claiming one of their husbands will be murdered. There are no phones, no cell service to check on their men. Friendships fracture as the situation spins wildly out of control. Betrayal can come in many forms.

This group has kept each other’s secrets for far too long.

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