Why Join?

  • Add New Books

  • Write a Review

  • Backpack Reading Lists

  • Newsletter Updates

Join Now

Novel mainly set in NORFOLK

11th April 2023

Talking at Night by Claire Daverley, novel mainly set in Norfolk (and Montenegro, Yorkshire and Oxford).

Novel mainly set in NORFOLK

Talking at Night is a cleverly woven tale of the relationships between Will, Joshua and Rosie. It’s a story of first love, but with a twist; an epic tale that draws you in and squeezes every last drop of emotion from you, until you no longer know what outcome you’re hoping for.

One November night, twins Josh and Rosie meet up with fellow sixth-form students, who are gathered around a bonfire on a beach in Norfolk. Rosie gets talking to Will and they spend time apart, chatting and sharing confidences until most people have drifted away. Eventually Josh persuades Rosie to play her guitar and sing. Will is captivated; Rosie fascinates him. Perhaps nothing would have come of this evening, but Josh depends on Will to tutor him in maths and that brings them all together again.

At this point the characters are setting out in life. The twins are following a conventional route, studying hard for Oxbridge and obeying the many rules in their family. Josh is a calm, supportive soul, in contrast to his sister Rosie, the “vanilla virgin”, who displays anxiety and wants to do the right thing. Will is clever and popular, with more modest ambitions to become a mechanic. He has a troubled past and a reputation to live down.

Each of them has family issues: the twins’ mother is controlling, and their home is cold and humourless. Will never knew his father and his mother has left. He has been brought up by his grandmother. The three young people draw on things in the others that they need but they each let the others down in some fatal respect. They are at the beginning of something good, but fate intervenes and what happens next changes their lives forever.

The book is about friendships, romantic relationships and family bonds – or a lack of them. The characters are drawn together and torn apart in various ways, over a long period of time. We see Rosie, determined to do what’s right, often at great personal cost; there’s Joshua, who is calm, supportive but ultimately tortured by what he really wants; then there’s Will, who is angry and rebellious – often a victim of his own cussedness. Can any of them attain the happiness they seek?

The locations for Talking at Night are beautifully described. The book is set mainly in an unnamed town in coastal Norfolk. There is rich detail about each of the places the characters inhabit, from Will’s gran’s homely living room to Simon’s designer chic apartment, and from the chilly shore by the lighthouse to warm, scented pine forests of Montenegro.

There are a couple of little quirks to the book that might annoy some readers. The book is written in the present tense, and there are no speech marks, which means you need to pay close attention. I quickly adapted to both. I wouldn’t have picked it up based on the cover though, which is a shame.

I absolutely loved this book and would return to read it again for both the angst it induces when things aren’t going well and the calm beauty of the love the characters share. This is a story of first love, but also love that endures – and boy does it have a lot to endure! There’s romance and tragedy, humour and pain. A times the characters seem to know what they want but they lie to themselves and derail their own happiness. They journey apart with occasional meetings that only confuse and obscure their route. Yet something remains. The question is: is it strong enough to bring them back together in the end?

Sue for the TripFiction Team

Catch the author on Twitter @ClaireDaverley

Join Team TripFiction on Social Media:

Twitter (@TripFiction), Facebook (@TripFiction.Literarywanderlust), YouTube (TripFiction #Literarywanderlust), Instagram (@TripFiction) and Pinterest (@TripFiction)

Subscribe to future blog posts

Latest Blogs

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. User: Yvonne@FictionBooks

    Posted on: 11/04/2023 at 3:01 pm

    I do like the sound of this storyline, however, I have read one or two books recently, where paragraphing and speech marks have been non-existent, and the concept does rather bother me, even though following the narrative and dialogue hasn’t been too complicated.

    I wonder if grammar and spelling are concepts which are deemed out-dated and superfluous in today’s educational curriculum, or whether there are simply a growing band of authors determined to do their own thing?

    I do agree with you about the rather uninspiring cover art too. For a debut novel, I would definitely have wanted my cover, whilst striving to be in keeping with the premise and storyline, to also be eye-catching and bold.

    Not one for my ‘wish list’ I fear, but hats off for a constructive review! 🙂