Saturdays at Noon by April Marks | Book Review

This book was gifted to me by Penguin Random House but as always, my thoughts are my own. Buy your copy of Saturdays at Noon from 7th February.

It’s Romance Week this week – both on Goodreads and in terms of the fact that it’s been Valentine’s Day- so it seemed apt that I got myself involved in what I presumed to be a contemporary romance book tour to celebrate the occasion. I’m not the biggest reader when it comes to contemporary romance or romance of any type, really; I’m not the most romantic of people and with the exception of a few authors whose books I read religiously, it’s not a genre that I am instinctively drawn to. Saturdays at Noon by Rachel Marks was a book that was either going to take me completely out of my comfort zone and open my eyes to romance in literature or else it was going to confirm what I thought I already knew – that I am a scrooge when it comes to love.

Saturdays at Noon by Rachel Marks

It’s fair to say that Saturdays at Noon is no ordinary contemporary novel – and it’s definitely not entirely fixated on romance or smut; much to my delight. Saturdays at Noon centres itself on Jake and his son Alfie, and Emily, a young former photography student who just so happens to have the ‘magic touch’ when it comes to dealing with Jake’s difficult child. When they meet at an anger management class, Emily and Jake aren’t particularly fond of one another but Alfie, who is waiting outside with his mother, takes a shine to Emily in ways that Jake just cannot understand. Jake is struggling his way through a point in his and his wife’s relationship that is completely out of his control – she chooses to leave him and her son to move to Paris and find her happiness again. With Alfie’s tendency to lose control of his emotions and his need for control requiring more attention than Jake is able to give him, Emily finds herself as Alfie’s nanny and the hostile relationship that had formed between her and Jake slowly becomes something much more positive.

I really enjoyed this book – Emily’s backstory was both intriguing and thoughtful and I loved how the little changes that Emily made to Alfie’s schedule really helped him in coping with more difficult situations. Understanding children with particular needs is something that really interests me – when I taught, I had a lot of children in my multiple classes that had additional needs and understanding how to direct your questions and word things to get positive responses was much more difficult than you would expect. Rachel Marks has done a great job of highlighting the challenges that comes with raising a child with autism but also highlighting the positives as well. I loved how the relationships between the characters developed and how we learnt about how things that happened in the past alongside the goings on of the present. I liked that the chapters alternated between Jake, Emily and Alfie; it was great to get an insight into how Alfie felt during more difficult moments in his day and gave a subtle insight to the complexities of the autism spectrum. I’d definitely recommend this one – a lovely, heartwarming story of family, love and how controlling your emotions is sometimes more difficult than you would expect.

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The House on the Lake by Nuala Ellwood