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This was the first Freya North novel I read and I'm happy to say I was not disapointed in the slightest. At first I was unsure if I'd actually like the book and the first few chapters had me doubting if I'd even finish it at all, The truth is I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down. I didn't want the book to end and wanted to continue reading about Fen. I loved the fact that her other sisteers were entwined within the story and couldn't wait to read the books about them too.
The basic story follows Fen an art historian who falls for two guys, the novel has you guessing for a while as to whom she will end up with in the end as there are so many twists and turns to uncover.
The book is fabulous and a highly addictive read. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good chick lit or Feya North novel.
First Published by Arrow Books in 2001
ISBN: 0 09 943648 5
Having read a lot of books by Freya North (I think I've read them all) this is the first I read and also my favourite.
It is part of a mini series detailing the love lives of three sisters: Fen, Cat and Pip.
So if you read this one I recommend you read the other 2, There are small refererences to the whats going on in the other sisters love lives in each book so I think the events are happening around the same time so I don't suppose it matters what order you read them in!
Then when you've read those three read 'Home Truths' as this is also about the McCabe family and I feel its best you "know" the family before you read it.
Fen McCabe: a 28 year old from Derbyshire, now living in London, newly appointed archivist of Art Matters magazine.
A lovable charactor, quirky and dizzy but all heart (except the whole two-timing part!!)
Matt Holden: the young editor of Art Matters, Fens London lover, again a really likeable character who you sometimes feel sorry for!
James Caulfield: 20 years older than Fen; so that would make him 48. A landscape gardener living in Derbyshire. Fens Derbsyshire lover! Really did want Fen to end up with him, he was my favourite character!!
Cat and Pip McCabe: Fens two sisters, both having their own problematic love lives!
Django: Fens uncle who brough up all 3 girls in the absence of his crazy sister who ran off with a cowboy from Denver if I remember right!! lives in Derbyshire still in the girls childhood home.
Fen, 28 has only ever been in love with a 19th century artist: Julius Fetherstone! Long dead but still her one love!
She starts her dream job of archivist at an arts magazine and falls for the young editor; Matt Holden.
But at the same time also falls for landscape gardener James Caulfield who is 20 years older than her!
In a strange coincidence, Matt is a long lost relative of Julius Fetherstone and James has a Julius Fetherstone picture and sculptures! Not very believable I must say that all this happened coincidentally!
So she starts sleeping with both of them! As you do! Matt in London and James in her home town in deepest Derbyshire, living two seperate lives.
A miracle in it itself and again a bit unbelievable she doesn't get caught as they both fall madly in love with her!
A really great chick lit read! Freya North is one of my favourite authors and even though Fen is being really naughty you still love her and want the best for her which shows how well Freya North writes.
Endearing characters, lots of deep descriptions of them so you can get to know them well and feel like you know the whole family.
I do like the links between the three books which you will pick up once you have read more than one of the mini series.
Also by Freya North:
PS. I've decided I'm actually going to review Cat and Pip and Home Truths too so you know what they're about. They are all worth a read though!
I finally got around to reading the last book in the 'chick-lit collection' of books that I bought ages ago, and have been slowly working my way through. The book is by Freya North, an author whose name I was aware of, but had never read anything by.
In the prologue, we meet Julius Featherstone a British artist living in nineteenth century Paris. Julius is an underrated artist, frequently having to sleep with his grotesque landlady as he can't afford to pay the rent on his apartment. We learn how Julius meets Cosima, the love of his life, after her fiancé commissioned a portrait of her. They have a brief fling, but she returns to her husband-to-be. Cosima has truly left her mark on Julius and from then on he bases all of his sculptures on her - many of them erotic works.
Skip to the future and the main story, and we meet Fenella McCabe - or Fen as she is known. Fen is originally from Derbyshire, where her and her two sisters, Cat and Pip, were brought up by their eccentric uncle Django after their father died and their mother ran of to Denver with a cowboy. Fen now lives in London with flatmates Gemma and Abi.
Fen is obsessed with art, but in particular, one artist - Julius Featherstone. Fen gives lectures on his work, and the story starts with Fen getting a job working for Trust Art in their archives. It is here that Fen befriends Matthew Holden, the sexy young editor of Trust Arts magazine. Fen is especially excited, as Matthew's late father, Henry, championed Featherstone's work and was a personal friend of his.
Fen finds herself becoming quite attracted to Matt, but as the book's tagline says...men are like busses - you wait ages and then two come along at once. Fen meets James Caulfield, a dashing gardener from her native Derbyshire when he approaches her wanting to sell two Featherstone works to the trust. Despite the age gap, again Fen feels an attraction. She is usually so moral, and disapproving of infidelity, but can she resist temptation?
~What I thought~
The character of Fen is likeable, despite the fact that she is sleeping with two men at once, something I would seriously disapprove of in real life. I think what is clever about the book, is that both of the men are just as likeable as each other, so as a reader you are also a bit torn between which one you think Fen should end up with.
I found that I was a bit bored at the start of the book, especially when it began flitting between the present day, and the past, when we visit Julius Featherstone's art studio in Paris. It did pick up pace a bit though, and towards the middle I got a bit more into it, but I could hardly describe it as un-putdown able as it took me nearly a month to read it!
When I first started reading this book, I was surprised at how much sex is in it. I'm not exactly a prude, but I just felt like every other page was full of sex or sexual references, whether it was necessary to the story or not. A colleague of mine asked what I was reading, and I commented that there was a lot of sex in the book, so he took it from me, and sat there reading it with his mouth open for about half an hour! Men, eh?!
I thought the ending (without telling you what it was, of course) was sort of predictable, although it felt like the author had built it up as though it was supposed to be a huge surprise and it kinda just wasn't!
Overall, this was an OK book once the story picked up towards the middle. I thought the ending was OK, but there weren't really a lot of twists and turns to it - not much to make you want to keep reading. I also thought the amount of sex was unnecessary to the story - I know they say sex sells, but I don't think there was any need to put it on virtually every page!
Having read this, I would not rule out reading any more books by Freya North, but it would probably not be my first choice of author. It might be worth mentioning that there are two other books by Freya North - Cat and Pip, that are kind of linked in to this one, as Cat and Pip are both Fen's sisters, however you do not need to read those books to understand the plot line of this one.