Title: Saturdays at Noon
Author: Rachel Marks
Publisher: Michael J Books (Penguin)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Emily doesn’t think she should be there. Jake just wants to save his marriage. Alfie can’t stop worrying.
But somehow, they all end up spending their Saturdays at anger management class. Emily and Jake don’t see eye-to-eye, but an unlikely friendship between Emily and Alfie forces them together. This is a novel about family, struggle and friendship, and it is wonderful.
The novel alternates between the three narratives of Jake, Emily and Alfie, and each character is so excellently crafted by Marks that I couldn’t help but fall in love. Little Alfie is absolutely precious and I loved the insights into his mind throughout the novel. I loved the portrayal of his consciousness, and how affected he was by his anxiety. I also loved his enthusiasm, his love for Emily and his innocence – he was just such a sweet character. Emily is guarded and keeps her cards close, but her character slowly progressed through the novel as she opened up and revealed her secrets, and this was really shown in her narrative. And finally, Jake, who I was initially unsure of, captured my heart as he revealed he is just a over-worked Dad desperate to give his child the same beloved childhood he had.
There were some lovely moments of humour in this novel, particularly from Alfie, and I definitely laughed out loud a few times. I really liked Marks’ writing style, and will definitely be looking out for further works by her after this incredible debut. I found the beginning just a tad slow, but as soon as I fell for the characters I knew I was hooked. It was the ending that really made it a 5 star read for me. It had that will-it-won’t-it back and forth for how the ending was going to play out, and I really wasn’t sure which way it was going to go. I was almost sure, but there was just a little part of me that thought it might end a different way, and I was definitely gripped for the last 100 pages.
I would definitely recommend this novel. It took the concepts of contemporary fiction and romance and twisted them into a unique debut, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thank you to @michaeljbooks for this copy of Saturdays at Noon in exchange for a review on their blog tour.