‘Pillow Talk’ – Freya North

pillow talk

I confess to having a bit of a soft spot for romantic fiction by certain writers – Lisa Jewel, Jill Mansell, Freya North – and there were parts of this book that I loved. Unfortunately, I felt more than a little detached from this book and I can’t quite put my finger on the reason.

The idea of two high-school sweethearts who meet again after seventeen years did, I confess, set alarm bells ringing. If you haven’t been in touch with someone for that length of time, there’s usually a good reason. When their high-school relationship is actually revealed – a chaste kiss, some meaningful looks and a handful of conversations – I know we’re meant to realise they’re soulmates who are destined to be together, but I just felt they were deluded.

Putting my own prejudices aside, I felt there were some lovely moments within the novel. The relationship between the young Petra and her mentor Lillian was heart-warming, and the gradual breaking down of the barriers between Petra and Arlo when they meet again had me yearning for things to work out between them. Some of the minor characters annoyed me intensely, and I found it hard to get past this.

Reading this book was like deciding to eat the whole Easter egg when you were young. It felt good at the time, if self-indulgent, but left you wishing you hadn’t bothered at the end.