02 July 2020

The Way Back Home

By Freya North
Literary Fiction | 
Women's Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

My Review

The Way Back Home is the first Freya North novel I've read and although I enjoyed the writing, I found the plot rather slow. I suppose I've become accustomed to less wordiness and more action. The slow-pace may not have been quite what I was expecting. However, the author's use of language and ease at which it flowed was very impressive. 

Thirty-something Oriana returns home after 18 years in America. Born and raised in an artists' commune in Derbyshire, she had an unconventional upbringing and formed close childhood bonds. But a tragic event one summer shattered her world and was the catalyst that led to her new life in America. What happened all those years ago and can Oriana mend the friendships that were broken?

The Way Back Home certainly hasn't put me off reading more of this author's novels. On the contrary, next time will be when I'm in a slower-paced frame of mind and looking for a beautifully written book.           

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Harper; UK ed. edition (21st May 2015)

The Blurb

One summer, something happened that changed everything forever…

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 run free.

But too much freedom comes at a price. Something happened the summer they were fifteen. And now, having been gone eighteen years, Oriana is back.

This is their story.

The Author

In 1991, Freya North gave up writing her PhD in Art History in order to start writing her first novel, Sally, about a woman embarking on a no-strings erotic affair. Top agent Jonathan Lloyd at Curtis Brown Ltd put the novel into a five-publisher bidding war which resulted in a three-book deal for a six-figure sum. Sally was published in 1996. Chloe followed soon after, and tells of a woman travelling around the four countries of the UK during the four seasons of the year and her various sensual exploits en route. Polly, about a teacher exchange trip between America and England, was published in 1998 and Cat, about a sports journalist covering the Tour de France, in 2000.

Further titles were Fen (2001), set in the art world and Pip, about a female clown (2004). Her seventh novel, Love Rules (2005), about whether one listens to one's head or follows one's heart, was published in 2005. Home Truths, which reunites the McCabe characters from earlier novels Cat, Fen and Pip, was published in 2006.

In 2008, Freya won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her ninth novel, Pillow Talk, which reunites childhood sweethearts Petra and Arlo – now a sleepwalker and an insomniac. Pillow Talk was set in the North East of England, specifically in Teesside. Secrets, Freya's tenth novel, also set in the North East, was published in 2009. Because the book's setting was the small Victorian resort of Saltburn by the Sea and featured the famous Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, the author was subsequently invited to become an Ambassador for the region.

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