Pillow Talk

by Freya North

Read this in about 7 minutes
This British Author is widely known for her wide array of writing most of which are loved under the chic-lit/romance category. She quit her PhD in Art to write her first novel, which later became a reason for her to be noticed by bibliophiles who love romances.
Sally was the first novel by Freya North followed by Chloe  and many others making her a hit among romance-lovers. Chloe is one of those books that I’d read time and again at different stages of life sheer for its story and the way in which the journey of Chloe has been captured.
Left with a letter and a small inheritance Chloe embarks on a journey that takes her through the scenic countryside in the UK. Simply put it is her journey through four seasons, four places and four men before she finally finds her true calling. It is a journey of growth, self realization and finding her man for all seasons.
Pip, another novel by North sets it apart from other stories simply due to the lead character. How often does one get to read about the life of a lady clown?  Another story about self discovery, finding love and building long lasting relationships ,Pip is everything a Freya North book should be. 
The third one that I’ve read by Freya North  Pillow Talk displays the same appealing style of writing and a heart warming plot line that is signature to this British Author. She won the Best Romantic Novel award for this one in 2008 , and without further ado lets get on with the review for the same.

Cover


Like most covers of North, Pillow Talk has its title and the author’s name highlighted boldly with extremely feminine graphics supporting it. A water color illustration of a girl – the lead adorns the front page.
I wouldn’t be too sure about how I can judge it  personally, because a large  part of me finds the cover unappealing, but again its her style and plot line that I have time and again read and adored, so the cover have little influence on me. Having said that it wouldn't be wrong to say that it would seem unappealing to a larger audience, for it comes off as a rather mushy romance.

Characters

Pillow Talk revolves around Petra, a jewelry designer & Arlo, her lost childhood sweetheart. The other characters in the book are Petra’s friends/workmates, her parents, Arlo’s friends/workmates and a long gone friend of Petra, Mrs. Lilian.
Helen, the ex-beau of Arlo and Miranda, a co-worker has someone Arlo has a fling with play significant characters in the book.

I see her walking by herself
in a dream among the flowers ,
won’t she wake
won’t she wake
and see how I wait for her.
Is she walking all alone
is she lonely in the flowers
can I wake her and take her
with me through the flowers 
out of her dreams
and into mine
out of her dreams
and into mine .


Content

Everyone comes with a baggage–so do Arlo and Petra. Petra suffers from  Somnambulism–a condition where she walks in her sleep. With a relationship turned bitter due to her now ex-boyfriend cheating on her, Petra on the prodding of her friends  moves to the beautiful locales to heal, work and bounce back to normalcy.
While on her healing escapade, she encounters Arlo–her lost childhood sweetheart, earlier a singer in a band but now a music teacher in a residential school which he takes up to lead a life of solitude and to stay away from everything that continues to haunt him.
Pillow Talk is a journey of love, misconceiving lust as love, betrayal, self realization and growth and of course, finding and holding on to the one you love.

Language

Written from a third person’s perspective, Pillow Talk is written in typical British style. With local dialect interwoven with British English, the language is pleasant and is very reader friendly.

Good Points

As most romances focus on love and encapsulate how love blossoms, books by North are not just a saga of love but also takes one on the journey of the protagonists.
Like most books by  North, Pillow Talk takes readers through the lives of characters- not just love, but life with all its highs and lows. A realistic portrayal of the characters – the good, bad and the ugly, the  book is more of an insight on how we yearn for love, the mistakes we make, the consequences of these  and how love always finds it’s way no matter what.
Petra suffers from Somnambulism, and this book gives an up and close and realistic insight on the same.
It is a heart warming portrayal of how love is not merely depicted in terms of making love or typical acts that scream love, but how love helps one grow, face their demons and lay them to rest.

Bad points

Like most of North’s books the undertone of the book is exactly just like all others- it’s about how two very ordinary people find each other, find themselves, find each other and how love helps each other heal and grow.
The book is a very detailed description of the emotions, life and events of the leading characters, which sometimes can be annoying to great such great details some of which might seem insignificant in the larger picture.
Lastly, the cover is not particularly attractive, and it would definitely not make it to many shelves if one were to judge the book by its cover.

Overall

Though I’d confess to being a hopeless lover of all things romance, I have somewhere outgrown mushy romances and Pillow Talk  is one such books that gives the reader more than just mere romance.
A breezy light read, this one makes one hopeful that love truly finds it’s way and gives to us a person who helps one grow, heal and blossom into someone better.

Who do I recommend this to?

If you are the one who thrives on romance, Freya North in general, and Pillow Talk specifically should be on your list already.

Quotable Quotes

He liked who he’d been back then.The keenness, the naivety, the energy and the optimization for the future, for life, for the mystery of love.
She has no compulsion to do anything other than come to your rescue. She puts her life on hold as she steps into your shoes to fight your corner for you. Because she can feel your pain, so she can take just a little bit of it away. She wont mince her words or indulge you, she'll talk to you straight and tell it how it is. But she ll also intersperse her constructive help to there-there you like a mother.
‘Better to be on your own than settling for so little. You shouldn't be with Rob to make yourself feel better, because I am telling you, Rob did not love you as you should be loved.’
You re beautiful and gorgeous and it would be wrong to settle for anyone less than a man who adores you.
‘I don't want to be alone. I don't want to be be on my own.'
‘That's why you worked so hard on Rob. Not because he was worth it but because you didn't want to be on your own.'
It wasn't heartbreak really, it was humiliation. My heart isn't actually broken-it was mostly my pride that took a pounding.
Petra loved her mobile phone. Life was good when one could stroll around miles from home with a pocketful of friends.
Sod the meters of red tape & the  myriad permission slips  & miles of motorway – I had to see you. Because I need to tell you that we’re going to be OK, you know, You & Me. We are going to be more than OK.
Pursue you dreams - especially when you think they are getting away from you.
You know in my vast and colorful experience, I have come to the conclusion that all boys are daft bastards. It is actually down to us to tell them how they are feeling. Bless them – they wouldn't know otherwise.
‘I dont know if love conquers all, Arlo. But it certainly provides us with a blanket to comfort our woes and the Armour to face our battles.'

Gazala Amreen

Logophile, bibliophile, writer, designer, high on wanderlust and all things pretty.

Bangalore, KA merakipost.com