After reading "Pip", another book by the same author, I didn't think twice about buying Pillow Talk when I saw it in the shop. The Story is about Petra and Arlo, who used to be teenage sweethearts. They randomly meet again on a rainy day in a Yorkshire sweet shop. Petra works as a jeweller in London and Arlo works as a teacher in Yorkshire. I love how Freya really gets into her research, and creates such fascinating characters without skipping a single detail.
Petra has a problem with sleepwalking, it seems there is something from her past bothering her. Arlo also struggles to sleep at night, also bothered by something in his past. The story is about how they re discover their love for each other and how they both overcome what is still bothering them from their youth.
I found the story quite original and interesting. I loved hearing about Petra's life as a jeweller. I found the end a bit extreme and some of the story a bit far fetched..... but thats what I love about reading Freya North books. She has such an amazing imagination.
Freya North wrote Pillow Talk and I really like her style of writing, I also really enjoyed Secrets that is also by her. Her books tend to be chick lit and focus on relationships that you don't expect to happen, maybe because of class or years apart.
The cover is similar to the rest of the Freya North books, there is one main colour there in different shades and then a silhouette of the characters and the colour for this book is purple.
The two main characters are Petra Flint and Arlo Savidge, they were teenage sweethearts but since they left school they've lost touch and hardly thought about the other until they run into each other in the least expected place, a little rural ice cream shop while buying easter eggs. Arlo is teaching at an ancient traditional boys boarding school, while Petra is beginning to make her way into the jeweller business. She also is having trouble sleeping as she always has, and often sleepwalks, carrying something around with her that makes it hard for her to sleep.
I received this book free in a magazine and then passed it onto a friend, but the back says that it has an RRP of £6.99 so I got quite good value out of it, although I've seen lots of her books for just a pound at Asda now, so its likely that this one is also there if you want to give it a read! I really enjoyed it so would recommend it, especially the characters as they really went together well and it was quite an entertaining read and a good example of chick lit.
I can now say I am no longer a Freya North reader virgin!
I have had many friends recommend Freya North reads to me but I have never been pulled enough by the covers and the blurb of her books. I had no other books to read and found this one and that nagging voice in my head said to give it ago.
I found this book in the Works shop and was £1.99, or you could by three books for £5.00.I thought this was more than reasonable. The RRP price for this book is £6.99.
Like I said in my opening the books which I have seen by Freya North do not call out to me. It certainly doesn't stand out from other books. The main part of the front cover is Freya North written in big pink letters with the title Pillow talk in smaller black letters underneath. There is an illustration of a woman lying on pillows at the bottom of the book.
We are introduced to two teenagers Petra Flint and Arlo Savidge who spend little time together when Petra makes pottery while Arlo sings her songs whilst playing his guitar. They are childhood sweethearts but this is as far as their relationship goes at this young age.
Petra grows up to become a talented jeweller in London but has a problem at night, she sleepwalks.
Arlo becomes a music teacher at an all boys school in Yorkshire who also has a problem at night he is an insomniac.
The story brings Petra and Arlo back together years later when Petra comes to stay in Yorkshire. The question is can their childhood romance blossom all these years later or will both of their pasts cause a bit of a problem.
As this was my first Freya North book I didn't really know what to expect when it came to her style of writing and I obviously had no other books of hers to compare with.
The story I find has a very slow start with most of the first half of the book just getting to know the two main characters Arlo and Petra. You do warm to both characters but in opinion it did not need half the book to get you in tuned with the characters.
I felt it would have been nice for the friends of the characters to have been introduced more as they were only spoken about in brief. At times when one of the friends were mentioned I had to think who they were!
The second half of the book improved somewhat and I was glad I persevered. Although the rest of the book was very predictive it was a nice warm story even if it did go off of the plot a bit too much when it came to describing gemstones and music. I found myself towards the end just brushing over these parts as I didn't feel these were needed in the book and became a touch boring.
The way Freya writes is very captive and the way she writes love scenes is not crude but warmly described and the reader can relate to this which I think some authors lack.
I would recommend this book (not to my friends as they have all read this book I was lagging behind somewhat!!) I would say it is a light read, a book which you can put down and pickup a couple of days later and still be in tune with the story.
Having now read one of Freya North's books I will be looking out for another of her books.
I must remember not to judge a book by its cover!!!
At the beginning of this book it gives you interesting information about Freya North giving up a PHD to write her first novel.
I saw Freya North discussing this book on Loose Women ages ago, and mentioned that it was inspired by a girl who sleepwalked onto a crane, a strange story I'd also heard about. When I saw it in a trainstation bookstore I picked it up, thinking that it sounded interesting.
It really wasn't.
The idea is actually not that bad, although its plotted in the usual chick lit style, dysfunctional woman's life made happy by meeting man. Petra is a slepwalker with a tendency to wet herself, and Arlo, the bloke she fancied at school finds it difficult to sleep.
There's actually a seperate story within the book about Petra's love for an old lady she befriends, which made me cry my eyes out, so that's where one star comes from. However, the acompanying jewel story just felt a little forced, somehow. I actually felt at one point it was just in there to up the word count a little further.
The whole novel is dragged out over unecessary misunderstandings, but at the time feels worth it because she really does make you want to read on to find out the deep dark mysteries that lie at the root of their sleep disorders.
The second star I'm awarding, because I felt that for Freya North to have me actually read the entire thing without throwing it down in irritation is actually quite extraordinary. I genuinly felt that I'd been cheated by the lame endings.
Arlo's backstory IS kind of sad, but I just feel like I've read the same thing before and as for Petra's deep emotional scarring...
I just felt that yes, it wold scar you. It would probably cause you more than a few issues. Just not necessarily issues worth devoting an entire novel too. It was just a bit of a let down, when really at this point in the novel all the skeletons should be falling out of the closet and fireworks should be going off. It was a bit of a half hearted damp catherine wheel nailed to the garden fence kind of ending.
There were also a few moments when I felt that the writing style was... odd.
A phrase which struck me as particularly clumsy was a description of the way Arlo's young music students listen to what he says in class about old music for their own "personal hipness". I read this book quite a while ago now, and yet this phrase has stuck in my memory, because I found it so obscure.
!!! SPOILER !!!
The romantic ending was marred by a slightly creepy scene where Petra and Arlo meet again... in front of a group of his A level students. I'm sure some would think this was the height of romance, and I can admit there was some element of 'aaw bless' stirring in me. But mostly, it just felt a bit wrong on some level...
You know how much I like my chicklit. It has been ages since I've read anything by Freya North, mainly because I used to get her books free with Cosmo and other such magazines but now she's an established writer, she doesn't really give many of her books away free. So I was browsing through Amazon to see what offers they had and I saw this book "Pillow Talk" for £3.86. The story sounded interesting so I bought it.
...A bit about the author...
Freya North was born on 21st November 1967. She's well-known for chicklit.
In 1991, she gave up on her PhD to write her first novel. Her parents and friends told her to stop being silly and get a proper job but she didn't listen and personally I'm glad she didn't listen to them otherwise her first novel "Sally" wouldn't have been published. Ever since then, she's been publishing chick lit novels left, right and centre. Her latest book, "Pillow Talk", won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2008.
The whole story revolves around two main characters, Petra Flint and Arlo Savidge.
Petra is a talented jeweller who works in a lively London studio with her friends, Eric, Kitty and Gina. There are only two problems in her life. One is her constant sleepwalking for no apparent reason and her boyfriend, Rob. She works so hard at loving him but he doesn't seem to love her back in the way that she loves him.
Arlo is a brilliant musician but he escaped the Rock n Roll lifestyle to teach music at a boy's boarding school. Like Petra, he has problems with his sleeping habits. He's an insomniac. He has chosen to be celibate, as he doesn't want to love again but that all changes when Petra and Arlo meet again in a sweet shop. Petra and Arlo were once teenage sweethearts. Could this be their second chance and put the past to bed or are they both going to be disappointed in love again?
I was slightly disappointed with this book. I'm not saying that it's a bad book and I did want to know what happened in the end but this book didn't give me the same feeling that I had with her other books.
The whole story was too focused on Petra and Arlo even though they are very likeable characters. I wanted to know more about the others too. The other characters in the book like Eric, Gina, Kitty, Jen etc I felt there was no connection to them. It felt like they were put into the story so Petra and Arlo would have friends. Detail and depth is what it needed. Just some little extra details so that it would have felt real to me. It felt like Arlo and Petra were the only ones that had problems and that we didn't need to know anymore about the other characters because they were perfect with no cares in the world (with the exception of Rob). I think if Freya North would have added these little extra details it would have made the book, an outstanding chicklit novel.
I'm actually quite surprised that this book has won an award because it's just like all the other chick lit novels. Good but could have been so much better if the author had just sat down and thought about the other characters. Just paid a little more attention to detail. Maybe it was the pressures of the publishers to churn out another novel but still, I expected more from the author.
Saying all that, the book does have some touching moments and I must say that some of the bedroom scenes were very graphic and well written. I also liked the way it flipped from Petra's point of view to Arlo's.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it's still a good chick lit novel but it just didn't live up to my expectations that I have when it comes to Freya North.
For more information on Freya North or her books, visit http://www.freyanorth.co.uk