The Boot Camp is Kate Harrison’s latest novel about where women can start to change their lives for the better. It’s the place to lose weight, meet new challenges, set goals and make a start on that ‘New You Journey’. Oh, and it promises delicious nutritious food and luxury accommodation too. No wonder that Steph, Darcy and Vicki think that a week at Windy Hill Boot Camp might be exactly what they need.
If truth be told, all three of these women have something they are trying to escape from and a week at the boot camp ends up being a week of soul searching and facing up to life’s realities. Losing weight is just a bonus. Unfortunately, one of life’s realities is the fact that the wonderful food and the luxurious accommodation advertised do not exist. The camp is run by a dippy woman called Edie who is up to her eyes in debt and finds it impossible to organise anything, along with two ex army personal trainers who insist on strict regimes and no slackers. It could just turn out to be the week from Hell but will it be worth it?
The Boot Camp is a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that held me captivated from the very first page. I liked getting to know all the different women and couldn’t help but admire their spirit for being there. Steph, Vicki and Darcy are all fascinating characters and each has her own story to tell. These three alternate as storytellers so the reader really gets to understand their different points of view. Although. The Boot Camp is essentially a funny book, there are definitely some more poignant moments as we find out why each of these three women are putting themselves through so much torture!
Is it torture though? That’s the impression that Staff Pepper and Staff Ryan would like to convey, but as the week progresses, it becomes apparent that these two ex army officers are not as mean and hard as they make out. Some of the activities that they put the women through do seem pretty torturous though and I’m sure that I wouldn’t enjoy much of what they have to do. However, what I would like and what comes through very strongly in this story, is the sense of achievement and self worth that you would achieve if you could ever bear to put up with all the pain. There was a tiny little bit of me that was tempted, after reading The Boot Camp, to go on the internet and find out more about going on one of these camps myself. Luckily, this temptation did not last long!
Overall, The Boot Camp is a great read being both funny and moving at the same time. I love the sense of camaraderie amongst the women and also reading about all of the things that they are put through and everything that goes wrong. It’s the first book that I have read from Kate Harrison but it definitely won’t be the last!
The Boot Camp by Kate Harrison
Published by Orion, August 2012
With thanks to the publisher for sending a review copy.
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