Thursday, 19 June 2014

Review: The Way Back Home by Freya North

HarperCollins │ 19th June 2014│£12.99│Hardback

The Way Back Home is the stunning new novel from the Sunday Times best selling author Freya North. It beautifully evokes a sense of the powerful summers of one’s teenage years; particularly that cusp between fifteen and sixteen, when you’re no longer a child but not yet an adult.
The heroine Oriana Taylor has never forgotten that time. Eighteen years later, she returns home to try to make sense of it. Wistful and poignant, The Way Back Home is an unputdownable read about how our past shapes us.
One of the UK’s best loved and interesting contemporary women’s fiction authors, Freya North has once again delivered a brilliant novel that will have you turning the pages late into the night.

Book synopsis

We were who we were, the children of Windward –  a little ragtaggle tribe defining the ethos and eccentricity of the place…
Born and brought up in an artists’ commune in Derbyshire, Oriana Taylor had freedom at her fingertips in a home full of extraordinary people.
The Bedwell brothers, Malachy and Jed, shared their childhood and adolescence with Oriana. In the rambling old house and tangled grounds, their dreams and desires could take wing unchecked.
But too much freedom comes at a price. Something happened the summer they were fifteen that was to change their lives forever.

Shona's review 5 of 5 stars

This is my first novel by Freya North and it will not be my last. There was something comforting about her style of writing, that feels completely familiar, like I've read this book before. Even in the first chapter when we first meet Oriana and I wasnt sure if I was going to like her, or the story she had to tell, I just knew that I had to keep reading. Which led to me reading almost 3 quarters of the book in just one sitting.

This story isn't told in a straight line. We get glimpses into Oriana's past of who she was then as we watch her find her way in the world today and learn about who she is now. For me, Oriana was a great character, the embodiment of so many of us. With her strong façade yet filled with a deep loneliness. Forever searching for her place to be. As events begin to unfold, as her story is told I found myself wanting to shield Oriana from her past, yet at the same time, I sat perched on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened to her. To all of them.

Praise for Freya and her previous novels:

‘(Freya) North is a personification of her fiction. She is funny, smart (and) unpretentious.’ Independent on Sunday

‘The novel is peopled by rich and rare characters … a delicious creation, sparkling in every sense’ Daily Express

‘An addictive read that encompasses the stuff life is made of: love, sex, fidelity and, above all, friendship’ Glamour

About the author:

Freya North is the author of 12 previous bestselling novels and one of the enduring and most popular women’s writers around, with very high awareness and fan loyalty.

Freya was born in London but lives in rural Hertfordshire with her family and other animals where she writes from a stable in her back garden.

A passionate reader since childhood, she was originally inspired by Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain and Barbara Trapido to write fiction with strong female leads and original, sometimes eccentric characters. In 2012 she set up and now runs the Hertford Children’s Book Festival. She is also judge for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England’s ‘Rural Living Awards’ and Ambassador for Beating Bowel Cancer.

Find Freya North online at  /  @freya_north  /

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