Last night I was snuggled in bed with my Freya North book, and I have to say she is one of the most magical writers I have had the pleasure of reading.  Her books are so beautifully written, her characters are real – and yet have a touch of the whimsical.

I fall in love with her women, as they fall in love.  Freya North has an incredible ability to show inside her characters.  They are intelligent and strong and clever.  But they are fragile and at times confused and scared.  Falling in love in a Freya North book is as much about finding yourself as it is about finding someone else.

My favourite Freya North book would probably have to be Chloe.  Chloe embarks on a journey of self-discovery, crossing england, ireland, scotland and wales. Along the way she  meets sexy kiwi’s, crosses stroppy irish gents, cosies up with a scottish lad and eventually  looks to find her feet back in dear old blighty.  There is a talking portrait – Mr and Mrs Andrews, an angry goat, humming pots, a few pixies and a man with a big jar of penny’s.

I have cheered Chloe on too many times to count, the book is now well-worn, its pages creased and greasy in places, and a wee bit crinkled where I half dropped it in the bath.  The story fills my heart with hope and love and laughter.

Freya North’s books have seeped into my inner workings now.  Often I will find myself washing dishes or having a shower and even though it may have been months since I last read one of her books, I will suddenly be transported to the Moors in Scotland or to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.  Places I have never been but that I can picture in my mind’s eye with such incredible clarity.

On my extended honeymoon in London, while my (then) new husband worked and I had finished one awful job and was filled with anticipation of the better one I was due to start, I sneaked off to the National Gallery and sat grinning like a nutty fruitcake at the portrait of Mr and Mrs Andrews.

It was one of those perfect moments in life, slightly too kooky to share with anyone, and I wouldn’t have wanted to share it anyway.  I had no desire to be rushed on or to be answering questions in the real world when I was busy playing make-believe.  Sitting on a bench in the presence of THE Mr and Mrs Andrews, I felt like I was in on something special that no one else knew.  Others wandered in and out and around and I sat there forever, letting the stories Freya North had so beautifully woven float through my thoughts, I blinked through watery eyes and smiled at these two wonderful people who I didn’t know but felt I knew.  I said hello to them both on Chloe’s behalf, then skipped down the steps in Trafalgar square, feeling mighty pleased with myself!

In Paris we visited the Rodin museum.  The clear blue autumn sky and warmth of a waning summer proving the perfect day to encounter such a beautiful historic building, with windows and doors thrown open.  We circled sculptures in unpretentious silence, we meandered through the gardens and took photo’s in the bright lunchtime sunshine.  The Kiss, The Thinker, famous statues by Rodin, but it was Freya North who brought them to life for me, in her stories Polly and Fen.  She had taught me art history through her stories, I had learned about shape and form, about shadow and light.  How pieces of art can hold the hearts and hands of their creators, of their subjects.  They can inspire feeling. Emotion. Thought.  They enable other artists, be they sculptors or painters or writers, to create their own masterpieces.

I stood in front of The Thinker, and basked in the amazing talent that was Rodin.  Then I thanked Freya North. Because without her books,  I would probably never had gone to the Rodin Museum, or taken the time to find out more about his work and his life.

With that done, I said a wee hello to sexy Sally, and I gave dearest Fin, with her beloved Matt and James, a quick wink, before I crunched through the gravelly path and back out into Paris.

I am currently in the middle of Freya North’s wonderful book ‘Pillow Talk’.  Set in London and North Yorkshire, and centred around the lives of Petra, the sleepwalking jeweller and Arlo, the song writing music teacher.  Freya North shows love in its entirity.  Love that comes with bumps and bruises, with sex and secrets, immeasurable happiness alongside great sadness, a smidgen of mystery and a fair few mistakes before you get it right.

It’s my second read of this story and one I feel is going to remain a firm favourite for a long time to come.

If you haven’t read Freya North yet, why on earth not?

I ♥ Freya North For all things Freya!!