This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
At Windy Hill Country House Hotel and Spa in picturesque Devon, a team of women are gearing up to feel fantastic for the first time in their lives. Luxury accommodation, nutritious food and holistic treatments will leave their mind and bodies in enviable shape by the end of the week. Only this isn’t a normal hotel. Behind the gates of Windy Hill, something sinister in the form of breathlessness and blistered feet, is stirring. This is Boot Camp…
The Boot Camp follows Steph, Vicki and Darcy, three ladies who are all battling their demons at Boot Camp. Steph’s aim to slim down and win back her ex-boyfriend acts as her motivation for signing up to, and sticking with, Boot Camp. Vicki is determined to get fit for her sons and husband, spurred on by an awful tragedy. Darcy is sent to Boot Camp by her agent as her newsreader career starts to falter following a tumultuous time spent reporting in Afghanistan. Under the supervision of testosterone fuelled ex-forces personal trainers, Ryan and Pepper, the ladies aim to fight fit and fight back.
Never has the phrase, ‘Rather you than me’, been as apt as it was during The Boot Camp. Just reading about the 5.45am starts, one thousand reps and the ‘Super Power Circuits’ made me want to lie down from exhaustion. But Steph, Vicki and Darcy each have strong reasons for putting themselves through Boot Camp. Their Boot Camp motives are as different as they are. Steph is kind-hearted, funny and growing more confident with every passing day at Boot Camp. Steph is the main protagonist out of the three. If I was at Boot Camp, I would want a friend like Steph. She is encouraging, thoughtful and a culinary genius. She always made me laugh and I rooted for her when she found herself in yet another embarrassing situation. Vicki is caring and dedicated to her family but punishing herself for an event she could not have altered. Darcy is tough and independent, although not without a certain vulnerability. The one trait they do have in common is their willpower. They are strong, resilient women, and it would be a mistake to undermine them.
With every turned page, I enjoyed getting to know more about each character. Harrison deftly weaves their lives outside the ominous gates of Windy Hill with their desire to achieve something at Boot Camp. The achievement they set out to make was about improving their external appearance, but what needed more attention and TLC was internal. Boot Camp is a very topical novel; the perfect body image, weight and size is constantly being debated in society. The Boot Camp teaches us that we are perfect to the people that matter and self-esteem and confidence are more important than a flawless figure.
The Boot Camp zips along at a pace to rival the morning run. It is a fresh and funny novel about losing and gaining in equal measure. The Boot Camp is a novel to be devoured in one sitting, guilt-free.