I love reading. I always have. But somehow over the years I have tended to go through more non-reading periods than reading and I have ended up with shelves and shelves of unread books (fodder for another post).
I also like reading non-fiction more than fiction. Travel stories, biographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, reference style books are my preferred kinds of books.
So when it comes to fiction there are only a handful of authors I have read (slight underestimate but you get my drift). And out of that handful, there is only one author have I read (and own) their entire bibliography – Freya North. Well technically I only bought her latest book today so I haven’t read it entirely yet but I will soon.
Freya North is an English writer of chick lit. She has written 13 novels. I like some more than others. Sally and Chloe are my favourites. I like the strong but flawed female characters and Freya’s style of writing. Easy to read, humorous, romantic and often sexy but not in a trashy way. But most of all I like the way Freya weaves her previous characters throughout her books. Mostly just as minor characters, friends of friends etc, but enough to rekindle the idea that they are real people just like when they came to life while reading their stories.
I was first introduced to Freya North’s Sally in the winter of 1997. It was post-uni and I was living in a share house with two other women (T and S) and about to embark on my first foray into the workforce. A friend of my house mate T had bought the book, loved it and introduced us to the world of Sally, a 25 year old English school teacher who plans to reinvent herself as a femme fatale with interesting consequences. T read the book, passed it onto S who was too slow to read it so I ended up reading it at the same time as her. I immediately fell deep into Sally’s London life and was reliving moments of the book for months after. I was able to track down my own copy early in 1998 as I just had to own it for myself to reread over and over again.
When Chloe, Freya’s next book was published in 1998 I had to buy it straight away. And thus began my trend of purchasing and reading Freya North’s entire bibliography.
Chloe, the story of a women whose death wish from her beloved god mother sees her visiting the four countries of the United Kingdom, one in each season of the year. It was because of Chloe that I had to visit the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and to get my very own postcard of Mr and Mrs Andrews from the National Gallery in London on my own United Kingdom adventure in 2003.
How many people have become so engrossed in a fictional novel they feel they know the characters?
How many people have been inspired to do something or go somewhere because of a novel?
Quite a few I’m guessing. Don’t you just love the power of reading.