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When you look deep within, you might be surprised by what you discover …

Nueva Vida’s website promises to “unveil your inner-knowing and guide you toward your destiny.” But a week at this Costa Rican holistic resort proves to be life transforming for Marlee, Juliette, Sophia, and Annie. During their stay, they meet Maggie Carr, a young architect from Pittsburgh whose life has recently turned upside down after the unexpected death of her mother. Due to Maggie’s sweet nature, grace, and integrity, the women quickly “adopt” her into their group.

Guided by a shaman, an astrologer, an intuitive healer, and other talented energetic practitioners, these five friends willingly and unwillingly leave their comfort zones to participate in spiritual healings. However, none expect the startling revelations that emerge. Yet, as Marlee, Maggie, Sophia, Annie, and Juliette learn to trust, let go, and believe in what seems unimaginable, each discovers a vital missing piece to her individual life puzzle.


Told through the point of view of both Marlee and Maggie, The Retreat is the second of three books in The Awakening Series. This story serves as the necessary bridge for Marlee and her friends … to become The Healers.

Purchase The Retreat

Amazon Reviews ...

Brian Evans

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for spiritual seekers!

Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2023

If you're in the mood to dive into an engaging novel that will make you laugh and ask yourself some hard questions, this is your book. The author seamlessly weaves her knowledge of holistic healing practices with a story of friendship and inner-growth. I cried, I laughed and asked myself the question, what would my own life look like if I was able to surrender and let go just a little bit more? Love, friendships, the ability we have to tap into our own intuition and the heartbreak of losing someone you love are all necessary to experience the full spectrum of life. This book allowed me to get lost in a mesmerizing story and compassionately look at the connections I have in my own life. It also made me want to jump on a plane and head to Costa Rica! It's a true gem.



5.0 out of 5 stars A story about finding your way

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2023

This wonderful novel is the story of a group of women who go on a spiritual retreat together to Nosara in Costa Rica, and their personal journeys. Interwoven themes include the valuable role that women’s friendships play in their lives, as well as family’s role, and the opportunity to grow through self-reflection. Clearly the author is very knowledgeable about different kinds of spiritual practices, and her ability to use these practices as a window into the characters’ strengths and struggles is very interesting. Totally enjoyed this book!


Gail Porrazzo

5.0 out of 5 stars Let yourself go on “The Retreat”!

Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2023

Michelle Davis continues to bring clarity to the characters in this second book in “The Awakening Series”. The relationships of the characters (with new characters added) intertwine, the struggles are authentic, and the “spiritual awakenings” each character experience are true to life. Admittedly, I was not anticipating how much of an impact reading this story had on me to be accepting/unprejudiced/unbiased to beliefs and practices that are not mine (and I considered myself to be a very openminded person🥰). I felt such a bonding with each of the characters through their highs and lows and at the end I found myself cheering them on. Not sure if it is because of this season of life I am in, but I gleaned a much deeper understanding of where I am in my own spiritual journey.


Molly Cornell

5.0 out of 5 stars Friendships and Self Discovery in Costa Rica

Reviewed in the United States on April 8, 2023

The Retreat is a wonderful story about women and friendship, love and loss, and how to figure out what we want in life. In this book the characters go to a retreat in Costa Rica to meet with various healers and get answers to questions that have been blocking them in their lives. The journey to go into your internal landscape is scary for these women and they step up beautifully to find the answers. If you're looking for clarity in your own life this book is a must!


krista ross

5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Novel for the Spiritually Curious

Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2023

The Retreat is a compassionate story of womens’ friendship set against the backdrop of bourgeoning self awareness inspired by a spiritual retreat in Costa Rica. While the women confront such universal themes as death of a parent, illness, abandonment, romantic relationships and choosing a life path, there is an interweaving of basic spiritual teachings that are simply stated and easily understood. An engaging novel for the spiritually curious.


Susan D.

5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Uplifting

Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2023

I enjoyed this novel so much, as I did the first in this "Awakening Series"! It was insightful as well as an uplifting read into a topic that I find so interesting and helpful, as I too am learning to experience these practices and incorporate them into my life. The author combined a beautifully written story, with real life-style changing approaches to being a conscious creator in ones own life!


Katie Dwyer

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read about spiritual healing

Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2023

I really enjoyed following the spiritual journey of the women in The Retreat, all the while learning about various Ayurvedic practices. Each of the women have their own obstacles in life and their own beautiful way of overcoming them. The details in this book really take you into Nueva Vida and the Costa Rican jungle to give you a look into what a holistic wellness retreat experience might be like. Really enjoyed this read!



5.0 out of 5 stars Creating connection

Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2023

I loved Michelle's uplifting book following the lives of five women attending a retreat in Costa Rica. Every person had a unique reason for attending the retreat although I saw that they were all seeking something similar; clarity with their reason for being. This was a good read where connection and the support of others was the main theme and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Alexa Young, CA

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