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Saturdays at Noon

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THE STUNNING DEBUT WITH A DIFFERENCE. Perfect for fans of One Day and The Rosie Project When Jake and Emily meet, sparks fly. And not the good kind . . . Emily just wants to keep the world away. She doesn't want anyone to know all the ways her life is messed up. Going to anger management every Saturday, talking to strangers, was not part of the plan. Jake just wants to keep his THE STUNNING DEBUT WITH A DIFFERENCE. Perfect for fans of One Day and The Rosie Project When Jake and Emily meet, sparks fly. And not the good kind . . . Emily just wants to keep the world away. She doesn't want anyone to know all the ways her life is messed up. Going to anger management every Saturday, talking to strangers, was not part of the plan. Jake just wants to keep his family together. He's also messed everything up. Going to anger management is now his best hope for bonding with his six-year-old Alfie. Emily can't understand why Jake - who seems to have it all - is even there. Jake can't understand why Alfie - who never likes strangers - lights up around spikey Emily. Everything they think about each other is about to change. But can they change how they feel about themselves?


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THE STUNNING DEBUT WITH A DIFFERENCE. Perfect for fans of One Day and The Rosie Project When Jake and Emily meet, sparks fly. And not the good kind . . . Emily just wants to keep the world away. She doesn't want anyone to know all the ways her life is messed up. Going to anger management every Saturday, talking to strangers, was not part of the plan. Jake just wants to keep his THE STUNNING DEBUT WITH A DIFFERENCE. Perfect for fans of One Day and The Rosie Project When Jake and Emily meet, sparks fly. And not the good kind . . . Emily just wants to keep the world away. She doesn't want anyone to know all the ways her life is messed up. Going to anger management every Saturday, talking to strangers, was not part of the plan. Jake just wants to keep his family together. He's also messed everything up. Going to anger management is now his best hope for bonding with his six-year-old Alfie. Emily can't understand why Jake - who seems to have it all - is even there. Jake can't understand why Alfie - who never likes strangers - lights up around spikey Emily. Everything they think about each other is about to change. But can they change how they feel about themselves?

30 review for Saturdays at Noon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Rachel Marks structures her fabulous novel about family, marriage, parenting, autism and broken lives around a anger management course run on Saturdays at noon that Emily and Jake attend. Shaven headed, spiky Emily first encounters 6 year old Alfie hiding under a table in a cafe, striking an immediate connection with the boy. Jake, Alfie's distraught father, and Emily most definitely do not get on, Jake loves his son, but his marriage to Jemma, a marketing executive, struggles under the weight o Rachel Marks structures her fabulous novel about family, marriage, parenting, autism and broken lives around a anger management course run on Saturdays at noon that Emily and Jake attend. Shaven headed, spiky Emily first encounters 6 year old Alfie hiding under a table in a cafe, striking an immediate connection with the boy. Jake, Alfie's distraught father, and Emily most definitely do not get on, Jake loves his son, but his marriage to Jemma, a marketing executive, struggles under the weight of Alfie's angst, rage and meltdowns that leave their home in a constant state of being wrecked, whilst being out in public with their son is a never ending nightmare. Jake refuses to countenance the autism label for his beloved, if difficult, son, he would rather be condemned for poor parenting. Alfie never forms connections with others, but he does with Emily, and Emily who is struggling to get over a disastrous relationship with a married man, adores Alfie. Circumstances dictate that Jake, who had given up his career in teaching to care for Alfie, has to return to work, so he ends up hiring Emily as Alfie's nanny. She does not find it easy as she endeavours to implement the rules and behaviour that Jake insists is imposed on Alfie, but after a while Emily develops the confidence to challenge this regime. Slowly but surely Alfie blossoms under the changes, revealing a creativity around his obsessions with lego and comic superheroes that result in him and Emily storyboarding, filming stories with her expensive camera and her photographic skills. Jake and Emily's relationship might not have got off to the greatest start, initially he is resentful of just how much better she is with his son than he is, but feelings for each other spring up amidst their shared bond of love for Alfie, but Jake is still married. Could their relationship possibly survive the obstacles that stand in their way? Marks places the romantic elements of her novel firmly in the background, it is Alfie, his misery of living in a world that fails to understand him, and Emily, with her own traumatic history, her sensitivity to his condition, a form of autism, and Jake, barely surviving being his father, that are centre stage. laying the framework for Alfie's needs to be recognised and addressed. This in turn shifts Jake's perspective on Alfie, paving the way for his improving relationship with him, whilst understanding Alfie will still be Alfie, and life will always be challenging for him, given his condition. Marks creates characters with skill and she develops them brilliantly in a immersive read that is never less than riveting. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    preoccupiedbybooks

    A beautifully written, superb debut about family, love, being different, and acceptance. Emily and Jake meet at an anger management class. Emily has to attend due to a court order, and Jake is going to save his marriage, and to help him try to bond with his 'difficult' son Alfie. Emily isn't sure why Jake is there, and Jake can't understand why his stranger shy son likes Emily so much! Told from Emily's, Jake's and six year old Alfie's POV, we go on a journey with these characters, seeing how mee A beautifully written, superb debut about family, love, being different, and acceptance. Emily and Jake meet at an anger management class. Emily has to attend due to a court order, and Jake is going to save his marriage, and to help him try to bond with his 'difficult' son Alfie. Emily isn't sure why Jake is there, and Jake can't understand why his stranger shy son likes Emily so much! Told from Emily's, Jake's and six year old Alfie's POV, we go on a journey with these characters, seeing how meeting each other impacts their lives. Oh my gosh this book! I thought it would be a romance book, but it was so much more than that! The romance was definitely in the background, and this story was more focussed on the characters, and the many issues and obstacles they faced in life. The characters were so well written, and the story so realistic and believable, my heart just ached for them all! I was seriously in tears several times, and my husband was giving me concerned looks as I sat reading in a mountain of tissues! My emotions were everywhere reading this heart wrenching book, and yet...it was strangely uplifting at the same time?! ⭐I loved Emily, who with her heart breaking past, didn't let many people in. Her spiky exterior hid a lovely, but vulnerable young woman. ⭐I loved Jake, who was so frustrated and angry at not being able to understand or help his own son. ⭐I loved Alfie, a misunderstood boy, who just wanted everyone to follow his rules, and couldn't understand why they wouldn't! ⭐I loved how the characters were all so very flawed, because that made them all the more relatable. ⭐I loved the sensitive way that Rachel Marks wrote about Alfie. It was obvious that she had been through this herself, knew about the Autistic spectrum, and it shone through in the writing from all of the character's perspectives. ⭐I loved how it showed you could love your child, but still be so incredibly frustrated with them. ⭐I loved how it showed the different ways in which people see the world. ⭐I loved how this book showed that you cant judge people on first impressions, because you don't know what other people are living through. As a teacher, I could definitely see where the plot was going to go, in terms of Alfie, but the characters made the story so special, that I didn't mind. Honestly I just wanted the best for all of them, and to give them a hug, because they were all doing their very best in their own situations. Saturdays at Noon was a fantastic debut by Rachel Marks, and I feel that is definitely worth a read. Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Jake and Emily meet at anger management classes. Jake has a son, Alfie. Alfie has his own issues. At times he can be difficult to handle. But when Emily meets Alfie, they form a bond. She can get him to do things others can't. Emily has trust and anger issues due to her dysfunctional childhood. Jake's marriage is on the verge of breakdown. This book is an insight to children with autism. It also deals with alcoholism, anger management, addiction and a use to name a few. The characters are comple Jake and Emily meet at anger management classes. Jake has a son, Alfie. Alfie has his own issues. At times he can be difficult to handle. But when Emily meets Alfie, they form a bond. She can get him to do things others can't. Emily has trust and anger issues due to her dysfunctional childhood. Jake's marriage is on the verge of breakdown. This book is an insight to children with autism. It also deals with alcoholism, anger management, addiction and a use to name a few. The characters are complex but believable. Its beautifully written. It's an emotional roller coaster of a read. You will be thinkinh6of this story long after you've finished it. I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin and the author Rachel Mark's for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dash fan

    5☆ A Heart Warming and Uplifting story of Friendships, Change and the ups and downs of Parenting! Emily & Jake meet at an anger management class where they are both attending. Jake a father to Alfie 6yr old & hubby to Jemma. He's a stay at home Dad whilst Jemma works. Emily has lots of issues, she's definitely a flawed character despite thinking she doesn't need anger classes, but she has a big heart. Jake agreed to attend therapy classes as he's son has challenging behaviour and it's driving a wedg 5☆ A Heart Warming and Uplifting story of Friendships, Change and the ups and downs of Parenting! Emily & Jake meet at an anger management class where they are both attending. Jake a father to Alfie 6yr old & hubby to Jemma. He's a stay at home Dad whilst Jemma works. Emily has lots of issues, she's definitely a flawed character despite thinking she doesn't need anger classes, but she has a big heart. Jake agreed to attend therapy classes as he's son has challenging behaviour and it's driving a wedge between his marriage. Jake is so sick of always ending up the bad guy, he looks after Alfie full time whilst Jemma works. But he feels like whatever he tries to do he can't win and gets it wrong. Jemma is not supportive of Jake & his endless struggles with Alfie she sees them as an inconvenience. It all gets too much for Jemma and she ups and leaves, leaving Jake and Alfie to struggle alone. But Alfie has built up a really sweet and endearing bond with Emily after they bump into her a few times. She can connect with him like no one else can. Alfie asks his Dad if she can become his childminder and she readily agrees. But has she just bitten off more than she can chew! Alfie is quiet a handful and I have to be completely honest he wore me out just reading this book lol But deep down he is a sweet, endearing, loving lil boy desperate for love and attention and with the help of Emily she helps Alfie and Jake be better, and with Alfies heart melting so is Jake's towards Emily. Saturday's at Noon is an amazing book. I struggled to put it down. I've never read a book quiet like this before. It's a heart warming and uplifting story about Family Life, Relationships, Change, The ups and downs of parenting, starting over and learning to let your guard down and trust! Alfie is such a huge character, for a lil boy with such a huge personality, with so many ups and downs he seriously gets under your skin and in to your heart. If you read this book which I really hope you do then you will understand exactly what I mean by Alfie. I'm hooked. Thank you to Michael Joseph for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. My Review is also on my Blog Website :- https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2020/0...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Warda

    "...but it seems sometimes beautiful things can come out of even the ugliest of actions." This story sort of crept up on me. I wasn't sure whether I was going to love it at first, since the beginning of the book really doesn't hold back the reality of what it means to be a parent. It's ugly and all too honest. It nicely tapped into all my fears if I ever was to become a parent and it felt so uncomfortable to read. But as the story progresses and we get to know these characters through their fa "...but it seems sometimes beautiful things can come out of even the ugliest of actions." This story sort of crept up on me. I wasn't sure whether I was going to love it at first, since the beginning of the book really doesn't hold back the reality of what it means to be a parent. It's ugly and all too honest. It nicely tapped into all my fears if I ever was to become a parent and it felt so uncomfortable to read. But as the story progresses and we get to know these characters through their failures and triumphs, I became invested. It's an ordinary book. There's no flair to it, there didn't need to be. It follows an ordinary couple (and Emily) who are struggling with their marriage and raising a child who's on the spectrum and trying to navigate everyday life and aren't doing a very good job. Life has handed them several lemons and they aren't dealing with it. Until they do decide to deal with it and it becomes about the small moments and victories, which are grand on the larger scale. It's beautiful, it's heartfelt, I became super attached, I felt too much and I loved it. And I appreciated it even more as it is quite a personal story to the author. What I took away from this is how important it is to have a healthy relationship with the person you choose to raise a child with, that your voice deserves to be heard, that you don't fail at being human and that hope is very much something that's attainable despite how bleak things may look. It's a story that'll stick with me a while.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Agi

    Jake and Emily meet at anger management, though any of them needs it, right? For Jake it is either this or his marriage, and for Emily either this or prison. But still, neither of them feel like they belong there. Jake is a stay at home dad, struggling to come to terms with his son Alfie who simply doesn't behave like he should behave. Emily, shaven headed and sharp like a razor, tries to come to terms with her broken relationship. A very unusual friendship between Emily and Alfie starts - they Jake and Emily meet at anger management, though any of them needs it, right? For Jake it is either this or his marriage, and for Emily either this or prison. But still, neither of them feel like they belong there. Jake is a stay at home dad, struggling to come to terms with his son Alfie who simply doesn't behave like he should behave. Emily, shaven headed and sharp like a razor, tries to come to terms with her broken relationship. A very unusual friendship between Emily and Alfie starts - they immediately connect and they both bring out the best of each other, even though Alfie actually doesn't form any other connections with people. I actually am not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but for sure not this what I've got - and I mean it in a very positive way. There was so much depth to this read, it was thought - provoking and very clever, full of sharp observations, realistic but also very, very readable and, both the plot and the characters, have captured my heart. Alfie's character was so exceptionally well written, and for this only the book already deserves 5 shining stars. The author has not only brilliantly captured all his quirks, challenges and things that have made him so special but also managed to give him a voice that could in reality really belong to a 6 - years - old boy. I loved Alfie and my heart went to him - however, I could also put myself in Jake's shoes, and his troubles, dilemmas and feelings were absolutely realistic. I could feel his anger, disorientation, hope and desperation as well as if they were my own. I adored to see how Alfie blossomed around Emily, how well he has bonded with her and how good she was around him, much better than his own mother. I must admit, at the beginning Jemma and Jake really annoyed me, I wanted them to simply sit down and talk to and with each other, to open up and show their real feelings to each other, but then I was absolutely team Jake. You could not help but fell for Alfie but also to understand Jake's frustrations, how much he tried to understand Alfie and his needs and how unhappy failing to recognise them have made him. How he loved his son but how he also made him feel so frustrated was heart - breaking. And Emily was a great characters, there was so much depth to her - outside like a cactus, with spiky exterior and full of thorns and stingy but inside she was vulnerable, loving and sensitive. Rachel Marks has a great way with words and she can brilliantly and eloquently capture all kinds of emotions, and the way she has written Alfie, with so much understanding and sensitivity, was a highlight of this novel. We know that Alfie's character is based on Ms Marks' son, and it shines through the pages that she knows what she's writing about, that she's experienced this all by herself but it's still a sign of a great talent to draw a character so well, to get into their heads so much and write such distinctive and strong perspective. You can really see that Rachel Marks writes with her heart on her sleeve, bringing the situations and characters to life. I liked how the author placed the romantic elements in the background, focusing on different things - basically the three characters' lives, their history and troubles with coming to terms with what was happening in their lives. Alfie's parts of the story, told from his own perspective, were like a breath of fresh air, so different but adding so much depth and giving you a different view, sometimes frustrating, sometimes surprising but always refreshing and heart - wrenching, especially when you were putting yourself in Alfie's situation, a young boy who couldn't understand why other people don't understand him. "Saturdays at Noon" was sad and uplifting at the same time and with unforgettable characters that were full of flaws but all the same relatable and real. It showed how differently people can perceive the same situation, the same event, the same world. It's a read that will make you smile and cry, feel frustrated, angry and also full of hope. It is full of hidden messages, how we shouldn't judge people, their choices and behaviour because we don't know what's really hidden in them and their heads, important and vital messages making it thought - provoking and making you wonder all the time, so really, the best kind of read. It's realistically written and it's filled with warm humour, a compelling, touching, compassionate and captivating debut novel about parenthood, with all its ups and downs, families and unusual friendship. Hugely recommended! Copy provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    This book was really fun to read. However, the description of the book is a bit misleading. It hints that it’ll be based around an anger management class, but there’s really not much about it. Nevertheless, it’s a key stage in the story that helps a lot with Emily and Jake’s character development. One thing I really liked about the book was Alfie’s POV. I absolutely loved reading about the world how he sees it. It makes him seem so innocent and you just can’t help but feel sympathy for him. Alfie This book was really fun to read. However, the description of the book is a bit misleading. It hints that it’ll be based around an anger management class, but there’s really not much about it. Nevertheless, it’s a key stage in the story that helps a lot with Emily and Jake’s character development. One thing I really liked about the book was Alfie’s POV. I absolutely loved reading about the world how he sees it. It makes him seem so innocent and you just can’t help but feel sympathy for him. Alfie was definitely my favourite person/thing in/about the book - he made it so much more entertaining. I enjoyed how throughout the book the characters changed and got themselves into a happier place. It’s nice to FINALLY read a book that has, proper, character development and not one where people somehow change overnight. Also, I really like how it touches on mental disabilities (if that’s the word, sorry if anyone gets offended). It shows us that you can get through problems that certain young children may have. Alfie’s PDA (no not that kind, it stands for Demand Avoidance, it’s on the Autism spectrum) and his OCD gets noticed and I love how his family finally realise how scary the world is to him and that they help him more to make his way through life. Stars ~ 4

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Smith

    When I decided to read Saturdays at Noon I had no idea that not only would it very likely be one of my books of the year but it would also rock my world. It's the beautiful story of Emily and Jake, and Jake's 6 year old son, Alfie. Emily and Jake meet at an anger management class, every Saturday at noon. They don't hit it off at all but then Emily meets Alfie and for some reason he really takes to her. To cut a long story short, they end up spending time together and Emily is the only person who When I decided to read Saturdays at Noon I had no idea that not only would it very likely be one of my books of the year but it would also rock my world. It's the beautiful story of Emily and Jake, and Jake's 6 year old son, Alfie. Emily and Jake meet at an anger management class, every Saturday at noon. They don't hit it off at all but then Emily meets Alfie and for some reason he really takes to her. To cut a long story short, they end up spending time together and Emily is the only person who seems to understand Alfie and to be able to calm him down, to be able to deal with the way he behaves. It's not that Alfie is naughty, but he just has to be dealt with in a certain way and Jake struggles with that. This is a book I expected to quite like, but I actually adored it. It started off relatively normally for me and then bam, I kept having to stop and say "oh my God" because I related to so much of what was happening with Alfie. When I say it rocked my world that's because I think it explained so much to me it was almost revelatory. But even if you aren't in a similar situation to any of the characters you will still love this story for what it is: a gorgeous mix of love, life, parenting, friendship, and the challenges of being a grown up really, dealing with all that life throws at you and accepting that it's not a fairy tale. I loved the characters. Emily is prickly and has had a lot to put up with in her life. Meeting Alfie helps her as much as it helps him. I could see how much Jake was struggling and I completely understood, but I liked him so much more when he was around Emily. Alfie is a little superstar character with all his Lego Superheroes and I loved him. The author has done a fabulous job at making each one likeable whilst also showing their flaws and that they are human. Saturdays at Noon is beautifully written. It has a love story that made my heart sing with one of my favourite themes: love against the odds. It made me smile and it also made me sob. I felt emotionally exhausted at times which, believe me, is a good thing as I know that the books that really stay with me are the ones that made me feel that way. I found it a stunning and perfect read in every way. It completely hit the spot for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)

    ‘One circle of strangers Two people who’d rather be anywhere else Three lives about to change for ever' Saturdays at Noon is the debut novel from Rachel Marks and was published on February 6th with Michael Joseph. Described as ‘funny and uplifting’ Saturdays at Noon is a story ‘about love, parenting, coming to terms with the past and learning that it is okay to be different’ What makes Saturdays at Noon extra special is the story behind it. Rachel Marks faced many difficulties and challenges wh ‘One circle of strangers Two people who’d rather be anywhere else Three lives about to change for ever' Saturdays at Noon is the debut novel from Rachel Marks and was published on February 6th with Michael Joseph. Described as ‘funny and uplifting’ Saturdays at Noon is a story ‘about love, parenting, coming to terms with the past and learning that it is okay to be different’ What makes Saturdays at Noon extra special is the story behind it. Rachel Marks faced many difficulties and challenges when raising her eldest son. During her ongoing research she happened upon a condition known as Pathological Demand Avoidance, a disorder on the Autism Spectrum not widely understood or recognised. For Rachel Marks this was a light bulb moment. She was now finally able to explain and make sense of her son’s actions and reactions, she was able to better understand her son. The inspiration was there and the idea was born for Rachel Marks to write her first novel, her debut, Saturdays at Noon. Emily and Jake meet at an anger management course. Jake is married to Jemma and is a stay-at-home Dad looking after their six-year old son, Alfie. Alfie is a difficult child and Jake is not coping. His marriage is shaky due to the stress on both himself and Jemma. Jemma works long hours, leaving most of the day-to-day stuff to Jake but Jake is seriously struggling. He loses his temper daily with Alfie and although his love for his son is very evident, he is at the end of his tether. In the hope of rescuing his relationship with Jemma, he attends an anger management course. Emily is a tough nut. Brittle and constantly resentful, Emily is on the course for her own personal reasons. She does not want to communicate with the world and has very few relationships in her life. Emily had a very tough childhood and the impact of those early years is a constant weight on her small shoulders. On the first day of the course Emily meets Alfie and there is a very special connection, a moment where something happens. As the weeks pass, Jake and Jemma’s relationship changes and Jake has to make some life-changing decisions, ones that have serious repercussions for Alfie. Alfie is a frustrated child. He sees the world differently to everyone else. He lives in an alternative space that makes perfect sense to Alfie but when others don’t agree with his decisions he is unable to control his behaviour and his actions become quite aggressive and destructive. Jake is at his wits end and soon realises that Alfie comes alive when Emily is around. Emily doesn’t shout at Alfie, she has an endless supply of patience around him. She listens to him, she likes him, she ‘gets’ him. Saturdays at Noon follows the developing relationship between Emily, Jake and Alfie. There are some moments of magic and some of sadness but what shines through is love. There are so many important messages interwoven throughout this tale, in particular the message about learning to love others and yourself again, about self-esteem and about giving yourself the respect you deserve. The value of friendship is beautifully portrayed as Rachel Marks writes with a very perceptive hand, capturing some wonderful moments and giving great life to all her characters. It really is difficult to comprehend that Saturdays at Noon is a debut. The writing captures the reader immediately as Rachel Marks’ own personal experience brings such an authentic flair to Alfie’s story. Saturdays at Noon will win your heart. It is a very special book, an important book, one that will most definitely make you stop and think. Saturdays at Noon is a very emotional and thought-provoking book with a powerful message at it’s core. An affecting tale. A very impressive debut. Not to be missed folks!

  10. 5 out of 5

    thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)

    An absolutely wonderful read, a novel full of very important messages and issues, the most important about acceptance, family, and self esteem. It’s very well written with relatable strong characters, more than just a romance, this is a wonderful story and highly recommended Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

  11. 5 out of 5

    booksofallkinds

    *I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher. SATURDAYS AT NOON by Rachel Marks is a story that completely took me by surprise and had me gripped with its emotional and eye-opening story about life, and the unexpected paths it takes with unexpected people that will change you along the way. Jake is at anger management because he is desperate to figure out his life and fix his family. They are all struggling in their own ways and shouting the roof off at every turn isn't going to make thing *I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher. SATURDAYS AT NOON by Rachel Marks is a story that completely took me by surprise and had me gripped with its emotional and eye-opening story about life, and the unexpected paths it takes with unexpected people that will change you along the way. Jake is at anger management because he is desperate to figure out his life and fix his family. They are all struggling in their own ways and shouting the roof off at every turn isn't going to make things better so he is willing to see if anyone at this group can help him. He is desperate and something has to change because Alfie, his little boy, is all that matters at the end of the day. Emily is at anger management because it is court-ordered but she has nothing in common with these people, especially Jake. But sometimes looks can be deceiving and beneath her hard and tough exterior is a more vulnerable Emily who just needs to connect with someone who she can understand. She just never guessed it would be a six-year-old boy ... ​This book got me in the heart and I devoured it in one evening. Jake is frustrated by his son's behaviour and his wife's detachment from it all and he lashes out with angry words, but it becomes so obvious to see that his frustration is fear for the fact that his little boy is different and fear that the world will never accept him. Emily has been hurt so badly in the past so it's no wonder she has built up these high walls around herself and her heart but when she meets Alfie, Jake's son, she can relate to him in ways that many have never tried to before and is willing to let Alfie be Alfie no matter what and no matter how difficult it can sometimes be. And then there is Alfie, who is always perceptive and refreshingly himself, who stole the show in this story and taught me so much as I read each page. I had a lump in my throat when I finished SATURDAYS AT NOON by Rachel Marks and I'm sure I'm not the only reader who felt that way. Rachel Marks has written a story that is so moving, a story that will help so many families feel less alone, and a story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. I cannot wait to read what's next from this superb author.

  12. 5 out of 5

    my bookworm life

    Thank you to the publishers for my gifted copy of this beautiful debut! all views are my own as always. This was such a lovely read! it made me laugh, cry and fall in love with all three main characters. I loved the different narratives and what they each brought to the story,and how their side of things was put across. Each character i just adored, and could relate to in my own ways! moments of frustration from Jake where he just can't get his head round Alfie and wished he would just do what he Thank you to the publishers for my gifted copy of this beautiful debut! all views are my own as always. This was such a lovely read! it made me laugh, cry and fall in love with all three main characters. I loved the different narratives and what they each brought to the story,and how their side of things was put across. Each character i just adored, and could relate to in my own ways! moments of frustration from Jake where he just can't get his head round Alfie and wished he would just do what he asked and when, all those years when i worked with Autistic young people that really brought that back for me, when frustration and despair over takes understanding and patience , we've all been there in some way or another i am sure. The fact that this is a debut is very exciting because i can't wait to see what they bring out next! i loved the writing and found it so very easy to get straight into and then i just didn't want to put it down. The way the story and characters are crafted and developed i just thought was really brilliant. I loved how it was a feel good book despite tackling and focusing on hard topics but ones that are very important. It has a great deal of vital messages here and i think it's one that lots of people will enjoy and get something from. I would honestly recommend this to anyone, beautiful and emotional book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Holmes

    Thoughtful and sensitive When, early on in the book, I realised the subject matter, I felt conned by the blurb and nearly stopped reading. Too close to home, had I known that it was going to talk about PDA & OCD, I wouldn’t have bought it. I persevered though and I’m glad I did. It’s a thoughtful and sensitive take on a difficult thing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nomes

    I wasn't sure at the beginning if this book would end up being my thing, but I hung in there and am so glad I did. I ended up loving the characters, the slow burn tension, and had a genuine ache-y feeling in my gut as I learnt more about Rachel's past. A fave of 2020 and def keen to stalk this author for whatever is coming next. I wasn't sure at the beginning if this book would end up being my thing, but I hung in there and am so glad I did. I ended up loving the characters, the slow burn tension, and had a genuine ache-y feeling in my gut as I learnt more about Rachel's past. A fave of 2020 and def keen to stalk this author for whatever is coming next.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meggy Chocolate'n'Waffles

    Some books give you hope. Saturdays at Noon did just that. And a little more! Are you familiar with anger? I know I am! Do I need anger management? No!!! Well, I don’t think so… And Jake and Emily feel the same. Jake, stay-at-home dad, finds himself at anger management to save his marriage and connect better with his son. Emily, waitress, ends up there after an ‘incident’ But do they really belong? In the midst of grownup problems is cute Alfie, six-years-old and experiencing the world in a way tha Some books give you hope. Saturdays at Noon did just that. And a little more! Are you familiar with anger? I know I am! Do I need anger management? No!!! Well, I don’t think so… And Jake and Emily feel the same. Jake, stay-at-home dad, finds himself at anger management to save his marriage and connect better with his son. Emily, waitress, ends up there after an ‘incident’ But do they really belong? In the midst of grownup problems is cute Alfie, six-years-old and experiencing the world in a way that baffles his parents… I dare you to read this novel and not fall for those characters. Saturdays at Noon was just what I needed. A reminder we are all messed up in some way, that we don’t get anything perfectly, but that it’s okay. And most of all, that life has a weird way to solve issues. I don’t often fall for guys in books. Something always bothers me. But Jake, with his efforts, his struggles, and his desire to make things better, simply won my heart. I couldn’t resist and the more I learned about him, the more sides of his personality I discovered, the more I wanted to spend time with him. Believe me, it doesn’t happen a lot. In fact, it rarely does. So kudos to the author for creating such a fun, caring, vulnerable, and sexy character! Emily, oh Emily! I wanted to hug her despite understanding very quickly that this would have landed me a weird glance and a ‘what the hell?’ Haha! The walls around her are high, so high that only little Alfie finds a way through, like a teeny tiny mouse. Their bond is almost instant. Why do some souls just click? Well, there is something in the two of them that recognise the other as an ally. From there, the road is bumpy! Between each Anger Saturday, Emily, Jake, and Alfie evolve, and dance a curious dance. One step forward, ten steps backwards! They all have personal issues to deal with, and subtly, the author creates doors so they can understand themselves and each other better. It is through the others’ eyes that this little tribe gets to evolve and move forward. Finding out about what drove everyone to where they currently stand is fascinating, heart-breaking, but also weirdly reassuring. We all mess up and no one has the answers. Alfie is at the centre of this book, and if you are lucky to listen to Saturdays at Noon in audiobook, you will hear the author’s son Jacob! Alfie is inspired by Rachel Marks’ son and maybe this is the reason why me, the woman who really doesn’t like kids, adored spending time with this fun, fragile, and sweet boy. Autism is a big word, and there is a lot we don’t know. Myself, I was puzzled at some of the things Alfie did, because, as the author shows in the book, it is easy to misread signs from an external point… And she offered me a way in. And it was hard, but rewarding, and oh so lovely. And eventually, the same lesson applied to the adults. From the outside, judgement is easy. But behaviors and words take root in our experience, so why not be a little more understanding? There is so much wisdom, empathy, joy, and challenges, all glued together with Lego parts in this book that it is an absolute delight to read Saturdays at Noon. Hilarious moments and stolen happiness dwarf the frustrations of everyday life. I love how the anger management sessions seem so useless, but end up being just what Emily and Jake need to find their way to a better life. A better life with its struggles, because I am not a fan of absolute happiness. What’s the fun in it? Rachel Marks made me fly and enjoy the romance and victories, but kept my feet on the ground, finding the perfect balance for a sweet and uplifting novel that warmed my heart and made me smile. I will not forget Emily, Alfie, and Jake!

  16. 4 out of 5

    ila ✨

    [4.5 stars] i want to throw something at her and shout, “listen! because one of these days, and it’ll come sooner than you think, he won’t be there every day, you won’t be the person he wants to share everything with, and the hole he leaves will fill like a cavern.” but i know she wouldn’t get it. what a wonderful book. i really, really enjoyed this one, but i don’t actually have a lot to say about it, so i’ll keep it short. Saturdays at Noon is not the kind of book that i would call an “easy [4.5 stars] i want to throw something at her and shout, “listen! because one of these days, and it’ll come sooner than you think, he won’t be there every day, you won’t be the person he wants to share everything with, and the hole he leaves will fill like a cavern.” but i know she wouldn’t get it. what a wonderful book. i really, really enjoyed this one, but i don’t actually have a lot to say about it, so i’ll keep it short. Saturdays at Noon is not the kind of book that i would call an “easy read”, but i was in the right mood for it, and so i finished it in just a couple of days. it is a lovely story, the characters are amazing and the writing is simply incredible. i am far from an expert, but i thought that all the sensitive topics that are discussed in this book (autism (PDA) and OCD, but also other things such as parental neglect, rape / sexual assault, domestic abuse, among others) are handled very well. i look over at her and smile, hoping to tell her with my eyes that i’m so glad we met her, and hoping to read in hers exactly what it is she’s feeling about me, but she just smiles back and looks away. in true Emily’s fashion, she’s been keeping her cards pretty close to her chest. i was worried that the romance would ‘ruin’ it (or, maybe not ‘ruin’, but lessen my enjoyment of the book), but it is done very well and it never really takes centre-stage. as i’ve already said, the characters are all great, so complex and realistic and believable. i would also like to mention Emily’s grandmother – i loved her a lot, and her relationship with her granddaughter made me emotional more than once. definitely recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenny L

    Just loved this story. The storyline is an unusual one and so well executed. A very emotional read. I am glad I bought this and wasn't put off by the title and cover - don't think either do the story justice. For me, a title and the cover should give you some indication of the type of story you will find inside. Just loved this story. The storyline is an unusual one and so well executed. A very emotional read. I am glad I bought this and wasn't put off by the title and cover - don't think either do the story justice. For me, a title and the cover should give you some indication of the type of story you will find inside.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I LOVED THIS BOOK! Startled-laugh hilarious, romantic in a way that felt totally earned, painfully relatable, perfectly paced, sharply and perceptively written. This was such a breath of fresh air.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    This really is such a brilliant book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  Emily has been sent to anger management even though she definitely doesn't need to be there. She meets Alfie first, a young boy hiding under the table, and they connect immediately. Then she meets his father Jake and they both take an instant dislike to each other. Jake doesn't need to be at anger management either, he's only attending to show his wife he wants to fix his marriage. But whether they need to be there or not, This really is such a brilliant book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  Emily has been sent to anger management even though she definitely doesn't need to be there. She meets Alfie first, a young boy hiding under the table, and they connect immediately. Then she meets his father Jake and they both take an instant dislike to each other. Jake doesn't need to be at anger management either, he's only attending to show his wife he wants to fix his marriage. But whether they need to be there or not, for the next 13 Saturday's Emily and Jake will be spending a lot of time together and unfortunately for Jake, his son Alfie wants to be around Emily a lot.  I loved both Emily and Jake. Although both characters have their faults and flaws, once we delve deeper into their minds and back stories we begin to realise what makes them the way they are. Emily comes across as prickly, abrupt and just a difficult person to be around but Alfie seems to adore her and she him. It's easy to take a dislike to Jake at first. The anger and frustration he shows towards his son is so hard to read. But again as the story unfolds we see how challenging parenting Alfie can be and why Jake feels this way. There were times in this book I wanted to shout at the characters what to do. The way Jake misunderstands how to handle Alfie, the way Emily is determined to head down the path of self destruction. I only felt like this because I had connected with the characters so well. They are well written, believable in their reactions and the dialogue is spot on. But it's Alfie who holds my heart. The few chapters written from his point of view give us a real insight to how frustrated and worried he is feeling and they actually broke my heart a little bit. This book is slightly predictable in places, it follows a tried and tested format for these types of novels. But it works really well. For this book it really is the strength of the characters that pulls you in. I could have easily carried on reading about them for twice the amount of pages and feel a bit sad that I've finished the book.  Saturday's at Noon touches on some difficult topics such as autism, alcoholism and sexual abuse but Rachel Marks handles it all sensitively and brilliantly. I've read her son is the inspiration behind the character Alfie and it really shows that she has personal experience in the way the character is written.  There are some deep emotional moments throughout this book but there are also light-hearted, funny scenes. I went from laughing to crying several times whilst reading it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys character driven, heartwarming novels. This is an incredible debut novel from Rachel Marks and I'm already looking forward to her next book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Honestmamreader

    I have one negative thing to say about Saturdays At Noon. And, that is why did it have to end? Seriously, I had tears when I came to the final page because I knew that my journey with Jake, Emily and Alfie had come to an end. I devoured this story in two sittings and I loved every page, chapter and character. I cannot fault this book (apart from the need for it to go on forever) Thank you so much Rachel Marks for introducing these characters into my life. I loved them dearly and felt really inve I have one negative thing to say about Saturdays At Noon. And, that is why did it have to end? Seriously, I had tears when I came to the final page because I knew that my journey with Jake, Emily and Alfie had come to an end. I devoured this story in two sittings and I loved every page, chapter and character. I cannot fault this book (apart from the need for it to go on forever) Thank you so much Rachel Marks for introducing these characters into my life. I loved them dearly and felt really invested in their stories, the writing was superb and flawless, that the characters felt utterly real. Obviously my favourite character of all was Alfie, and I loved how we got a few chapters in there from his six year old perspective. They always say that children see life more simpler than us adults, and that is the beauty of children. They have not yet been tainted by the brush of society. Alfie's naivety in life and his abundance of energy comes flooding out of each page. I could have read from Alfie's point of view much more. Another character I enjoyed in Saturday's At Noon, and who I think should get a book all to herself about her life. Is Emily's nan, like Alfie she was not afraid to say what popped into her head. She bought light relief into her life despite some hardship that she had to deal with. Emily and Jake meet in an anger management class. They both take different approaches to why they are there, and both go on a journey of discovery. Emily, feels she doesn't need to be there at all and has built a brick wall to keep people out. But, there is one six year old boy that slowly knocks down that wall. It's such a beautiful relationship that Emily and Alfie share and I loved every moment of reading about it. Saturday's At Noon is a fantastic tale of how we should never judge people on first impressions.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emmie Rose

    I devoured this book in one evening and I’m not even sorry about it. I went into this book expecting your normal run of the mill romantic comedy but it was so much more than that. It is the story of a frustrated father whose marriage is on the verge of breaking and whose son is not like normal kids. It is the story of a woman who has been wronged so much in the past and wants to keep to herself. It is the story of a young boy with a form of autism who doesn’t understand why people wont follow I devoured this book in one evening and I’m not even sorry about it. I went into this book expecting your normal run of the mill romantic comedy but it was so much more than that. It is the story of a frustrated father whose marriage is on the verge of breaking and whose son is not like normal kids. It is the story of a woman who has been wronged so much in the past and wants to keep to herself. It is the story of a young boy with a form of autism who doesn’t understand why people wont follow his rules. This story is told in the perspective of all three of our main characters and is written so beautifully that I fell in love with each of their stories. The characters were well developed and I couldn’t help myself wanting to know more about their lives. As much as I would love to sit here and discuss the whole book and why it is now one of my favourite books, I want you to pick up this book. I want you to take the time to read it yourself. Immerse yourself in the ups and downs of these three characters lives. This book took me on an adventure that I will never forget. It is a compelling read with family and love at its forefront. It’s a story of self-acceptance and learning to change. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Okay, I have to admit I really liked this debut novel almost in spite of myself. Emily, a prickly young woman, a survivor (barely) of childhood trauma meets Jake, an overwhelmed father struggling with an extremely difficult child and an unsatisfactory marriage (though he doesn't know it yet) at an anger management therapy/support group. The stuff of stereotypical chick lit, right? Except that it isn't. Marks writes knowledgeably and sensitively about an enchanting autistic child, six year old Al Okay, I have to admit I really liked this debut novel almost in spite of myself. Emily, a prickly young woman, a survivor (barely) of childhood trauma meets Jake, an overwhelmed father struggling with an extremely difficult child and an unsatisfactory marriage (though he doesn't know it yet) at an anger management therapy/support group. The stuff of stereotypical chick lit, right? Except that it isn't. Marks writes knowledgeably and sensitively about an enchanting autistic child, six year old Alfie, that enables the reader to see the world through his eyes and to understand not only his pain and fear but also his capacity for pure joy. She explores the struggles parents, teachers, and caregivers undergo to meet his needs as well as the disapprobation and hostility they face from uninvolved onlookers. Autism is a complicated developmental disorder (not a mental illness) and presents across such a very broad spectrum of severity and symptoms that misconceptions among the general public and pseudo-scientific solutions are inevitable. Marks writes with extraordinary empathy for her characters, even for Emily's awful mother and Jake's perfectionist, self-absorbed wife. The ending is predictable, but it's just what the reader wants.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Emily, a confrontational and self-destructive young woman, and Jake, who’s struggling big time with his six year old son Alfie, meet at anger management classes - the “Saturdays at Noon” of the title. It’s the beginning of a story which will profoundly impact all three. Despite the title, the anger management class doesn’t really play a big role - most of the story is about the relationship between Emily, Alfie and Jake, and most particularly the bond which develops between Emily and little Alfie Emily, a confrontational and self-destructive young woman, and Jake, who’s struggling big time with his six year old son Alfie, meet at anger management classes - the “Saturdays at Noon” of the title. It’s the beginning of a story which will profoundly impact all three. Despite the title, the anger management class doesn’t really play a big role - most of the story is about the relationship between Emily, Alfie and Jake, and most particularly the bond which develops between Emily and little Alfie. This is really well described and touching, and Alfie’s difficulties (occasionally described from his own point of view) felt very real. I’m not familiar with the condition he was eventually diagnosed with - an autistic spectrum disorder - but I definitely spotted elements of OCD (a widely misunderstood and misrepresented condition) in some of the distressing thoughts he described, and appreciated the sensitive and insightful way this was dealt with by the author. Saturdays at Noon was a hugely engaging read which I really enjoyed - recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    booksbytheboats

    Well I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this as it was a little slow in places but actually it was such a heartwarming read about a Dad coping with his sons autism, his wife leaving & an unqualified nanny stealing his sons heart. I adored Alfie’s chapters and enjoyed the way Emily’s characters developed - there are a few underlying dark parks but nothing that would make this book in anyway depressing. I loved the way we see relationships develop and how these can affect children and although it Well I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this as it was a little slow in places but actually it was such a heartwarming read about a Dad coping with his sons autism, his wife leaving & an unqualified nanny stealing his sons heart. I adored Alfie’s chapters and enjoyed the way Emily’s characters developed - there are a few underlying dark parks but nothing that would make this book in anyway depressing. I loved the way we see relationships develop and how these can affect children and although it was slightly predicable as this type of genre can be, it was a really lovely book. Easy quick reading, perfect for those who like their reads to be lighthearted or to fill a gap between the ‘bigger’ reads.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Griffin

    What a lovely story, one full of relatable charming characters (with the exception of one !) along with introducing the reader to the trials and joy of being around an autistic child. Rachel Marks the author has through her own experiences written the character of Archie so beautifully I just wanted to give him a cuddle and be his 'best bug'. Although the book has a romance theme running though it, it's the message of not judging each other on first appearances that for me is what we should take What a lovely story, one full of relatable charming characters (with the exception of one !) along with introducing the reader to the trials and joy of being around an autistic child. Rachel Marks the author has through her own experiences written the character of Archie so beautifully I just wanted to give him a cuddle and be his 'best bug'. Although the book has a romance theme running though it, it's the message of not judging each other on first appearances that for me is what we should take away from reading it. The love story is more about Emily and Jake and them falling in love with Archie and the acceptance of his autism. If you love books like The Rosie Project, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Catcus then this is a book for you. A great debut novel and the first of many more to look forward to from this author Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Christinasdialectic)

    An outstanding debut novel from Rachel Marks shows us what happens when judgment is replaced with empathy and understanding. ⁠ ⁠ Emily wants to keep the world away. Jake just wants to keep his family together. They are so different, Jake has no idea how being paired with her in group will help. However, when Alfie, who never likes strangers, meets Emily, something unexpected and exceptional happens. ⁠ ⁠ Through multiple points of view, Marks is able to shed light on the internal and external challen An outstanding debut novel from Rachel Marks shows us what happens when judgment is replaced with empathy and understanding. ⁠ ⁠ Emily wants to keep the world away. Jake just wants to keep his family together. They are so different, Jake has no idea how being paired with her in group will help. However, when Alfie, who never likes strangers, meets Emily, something unexpected and exceptional happens. ⁠ ⁠ Through multiple points of view, Marks is able to shed light on the internal and external challenges of a parent struggling to connect with and understand their child. Such as, the guilt Jake feels when he gets frustrated with Alfie's seemingly irrational behaviour and the judgmental looks and comments he endures from strangers. ⁠ ⁠ Marks' inspiration for this book is based on some of the challenges and learnings she experienced while raising her son. Her intimate connection to the subject matter brings a raw authenticity to the story that shines a light on the humanness of parents in similar situations. This is a powerful and heartwarming book that will eventually be added to my forever library.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emma (escapetothebookshelf)

    Saturdays at Noon is genuinely one of the best books I've ever read. It's so endearing, emotional and uplifting; I just want to read it all over again. The story follows Jake who is struggling to cope with his son Alfie and is seemingly drifting further and further from his wife Jemma. Emily is also struggling with various aspects of her life and when she bumps into Jake at anger management classes she doesn't realise how their lives may be changed as a result. Jake brings Emily on board to help Saturdays at Noon is genuinely one of the best books I've ever read. It's so endearing, emotional and uplifting; I just want to read it all over again. The story follows Jake who is struggling to cope with his son Alfie and is seemingly drifting further and further from his wife Jemma. Emily is also struggling with various aspects of her life and when she bumps into Jake at anger management classes she doesn't realise how their lives may be changed as a result. Jake brings Emily on board to help out with Alfie and we witness such a beautiful bond grow between Emily and Alfie throughout the story. I was sucked into the world of the characters from the first page. Rachel writes with such emotion and captures human interactions and behaviours with incredible accuracy and precision. She tells an extremely raw and honest story which is heartbreaking, yet at the same time heartwarming; I wish I could have read on for another 400 pages. I often find with stories like this that endings can be very cliched and almost fairytale-like, but Rachel did a great job at avoiding this; she stayed true to the story and the realness that we had seen throughout. Please everyone just go and read this book, you won't be disappointed. I can't wait to see what Rachel does next, I'll be first in line for her next book that's for sure. All the stars! Thanks to Michael Joseph for a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

    Oh my goodness, Saturdays At Noon was my first read of the year, and I have been itching ever since to really shout about this most charming and joyous novel! This highly accomplished debut novel got me out of the biggest reading slump then popped me straight back in one due to it’s wonderfulness, it flew straight into being one of my 2020 books of the year and after I finished, sat back and closed the book, I just thought “Yes, this is why I read” to find gems such as this. Saturdays At Noon is Oh my goodness, Saturdays At Noon was my first read of the year, and I have been itching ever since to really shout about this most charming and joyous novel! This highly accomplished debut novel got me out of the biggest reading slump then popped me straight back in one due to it’s wonderfulness, it flew straight into being one of my 2020 books of the year and after I finished, sat back and closed the book, I just thought “Yes, this is why I read” to find gems such as this. Saturdays At Noon is about Jake, six year old Alfie and Emily; three very misunderstood characters. Jake and Emily meet Saturdays at noon at an anger management group where neither of them 'want' to be or think they actually 'need' to be. Jake is married to Jemma and a stay-at-home dad to Alfie – who is a difficult child to say the least, and Jake is pretty much at the end of his tether with him. Jake has all but being forced into attending to save his marriage. Reasons for why Emily is attending are a little bit more unknown until the story develops – although she doesn’t seem to want to communicate with people or the world in general. Jake and Emily don’t hit it off, but after a chance encounter Emily and Alfie do -in fact, Jake cannot at all fathom why Alfie, who dislikes strangers, instantly takes to Emily… So much love, joy and truthfulness has been written into every page and moment of this novel, of which truly shone out at me whilst reading, and I really think that’s that’s due to Marks’ own personal experience. Alfie sees the world very differently to you and I – when people don’t agree with him he fast loses his temper, becomes very aggressive and out of control. These are the daily challenges the author faced with her own son (who Alfie’s character is based on) until she came upon a condition called Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) – which is on the autistic spectrum but not at all widely known and where she could then better start to understand her son. Saturdays At Noon is told through the eyes of Jake and Emily, with chapters every now and then from Alfie and it’s these that add that extra special touch. In all honesty, I tend to stay away from child (esp young) narrators as I struggle with them not sounding believable or coming across as years beyond their age, but Alfie is incredibly authentic. His inner thoughts and telling’s really go a long way in understanding his outside behaviour – he could honestly make me giggle and cry at the same time, but he was also exhausting – I was exhausted at times reading how he was and therefore could completely understand why Jake was how he was, and I say all that as the highest compliment to the author to be able to bring that exhaustion across so effortlessly within her writing. Jake, Alfie and Emily are all characters that became very dear to me throughout and will stay with me as special ones for a long time to come. Jake’s struggles and imperfections made him so much more endearing to me, I was never left in doubt for one single moment over his love for Alfie despite his anguish, anger and thoughts towards him. As a parent myself I guess I understood those expectations he had of Alfie – aren’t we all guilty of that? yet it’s this expectation which made Emily and Alfie bond so well – she didn’t expect anything off him, just taking him exactly as he was and, I adored these most tender and special moments between the two. When that thing called real-life got in the way of me reading Saturdays At Noon I was still thinking about these characters – I just wanted more, yet at the same time I was trying so desperately to savour it. The conversations felt so real; never once stilted, forced or unbelievable. Even though the anger management sessions didn’t take up a huge chunk of the book I really enjoyed the freshness this part played and I loved that Emily stayed so true to herself with how she felt with their rituals and beliefs, even though in the end she did gain something from it – a wonderful character who despite her reservedness and prickliness was often making me laugh. But mostly this story just made me feel so much, at times I was laughing, at times I was melting with love, at times my heart-strings were being torn to shreds, and at times it had me looking at my own parenting ways. Lots of subjects are tackled within this novel: alcoholism, self-esteem issues, sexual abuse, and stigma surrounding autism, but I must say that all is handled sensitively and compassionately and in not a too heavy way. The tough realities and as I said previously, expectations of parenting are also very much at the focus – it’s the most difficult job in the world, and it reminds us, and others on the outside looking in, that being frustrated/losing our temper doesn’t in any way mean we don’t still love our child/children unconditionally – it rather makes us human. Whilst highlighting PDA is certainly what this book does, it isn’t a story focused on the autistic spectrum and stamping a label on children, it’s about really seeing children for who they are, treating and celebrating each and every one of them as wonderful individuals. I loved how Alfie ultimately viewed his condition in the final chapter – having his perspective on everything was the most perfect ending for me, and I was one blubbering, smiling mess! I can’t end this review without mentioning Spider-Man and Gwen Stacey’s part in this story: GENIUS! This novel is a father and son story, a parenting story, an utterly romantic love story, and a life story that’s all delicately and impressively rolled into one. Saturdays At Noon is not only a very special and unforgettable debut novel, that’s heart-tugging, witty, wise and joyous, it’s also a reminder to us all that each and every child is unique and wonderful. I’m so glad this novel is out in the wild, and I, for one, will be recommending it to anyone who will listen! I can’t wait to see what’s next from this exciting and talented author.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This was a surprisingly compelling read with three extremely strong characters in Emily, Jake and Alfie. Jake is a very frustrated dad who struggles to cope with his son Alfie and is only attending anger management to placate his wife, Alfie just doesn’t understand why people don’t do what they say and follow his rules, Emily seems to want to keep the world away yet she forms an unlikely friendship with Alfie. To the world Emily and Alfie probably seem like misfits yet together they both bring o This was a surprisingly compelling read with three extremely strong characters in Emily, Jake and Alfie. Jake is a very frustrated dad who struggles to cope with his son Alfie and is only attending anger management to placate his wife, Alfie just doesn’t understand why people don’t do what they say and follow his rules, Emily seems to want to keep the world away yet she forms an unlikely friendship with Alfie. To the world Emily and Alfie probably seem like misfits yet together they both bring out the best of each other. Although the book is based around anger management sessions the focus is very much on Emily, Jake and Alfie and the development and understanding between the three characters is what makes this such a solid read, it’s full of heart and empathy and Alfie is phenomenal. This is a fantastic debut and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    megs

    I really didn’t know where this book was going to take me but the adventure I had I would like to take all over again. This book is definitely a special read full off wonderful moments with big messages behind each of them, I’m sure we can all take something from this book. I work with people with complex needs and I could sort of tell what was going to happen with Alfie’s however it was very surprising and refreshing to read parts of this book in his perspective which I truly think added a lot m I really didn’t know where this book was going to take me but the adventure I had I would like to take all over again. This book is definitely a special read full off wonderful moments with big messages behind each of them, I’m sure we can all take something from this book. I work with people with complex needs and I could sort of tell what was going to happen with Alfie’s however it was very surprising and refreshing to read parts of this book in his perspective which I truly think added a lot more depth into the plot even though at first I was afraid it was going alter the flow and overall plot but I was truly gripped throughout. I’m not usually the person to enjoy different perspectives especially three in one book but it truly helped this book become something more than the average book and that’s without the added surprises within the plot. I was gripped throughout this read and I can’t wait to reread this book soon because I definitely think It will become a favourite of mine to keep in rotation of my rereads. I was slightly concerned with some parts of this book especially about the romance part as I thought it was going to be dragged out too far that I’d loose interest but instead it was written in away that begged me to continue as I truly wanted Emily and Jake to finally make it official however I was slightly disappointed with the ending but that’s solely personal taste as o would have loved to “seen” the reunion in the perspective of Jake but nevertheless in context with the rest of the book Alfie’s ending fitted seamlessly. Thank you to netgalley for allowing me to review this book, it’s definitely a wonderful read and I would urge others to dive into this adventure.

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