Saturdays at Noon

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Member Reviews

This is a really good interesting read. It is different from the synopsis and better than I thought it was going to be. Alfie’s perspective on life is intriguing. It is really interesting how other people think and the way in which their brains work. I laughed and I nearly cried in places and I would definitely recommend this book. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Lovely story with some great (and not so great) characters, a really interesting storyline set around a young boy with a variation of autism. Gives real food for thought in how different people perceive the world.

Thanks for allowing me to review this book.
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A lovely read.  I loved Jake, Emily and Alfie.  It is a delightful story which I read in one sitting.  The characters, with their problems, are well drawn and extremely likeable.  Coming to an understanding of what they suffer from is a truly fascinating experience.  I highly recommend it.
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An absolutely wonderful story of the relationship built between strangers Emily and Jake meeting for the first time on an anger management course. Possibly two of the most different people brought to each others attention by Jake’s son Alfie.

Over time we get glimpses of why Emily and Jake are initially enrolled into an anger management meeting which really opens up the characters and makes compelling reading. The story is told from all three perspectives of Emily, Jake and Alfie which I thought worked really well. The issues that Alfie has, along with the frustrations this brings to parents is described wonderfully and explained very well so the reader gets a real understanding of it all.

The book is very funny in places with some very witty lines as well as being dark in other places covering some difficult subjects in a very sympathetic way.

But what I liked most about this book is the way the author has described the dilemma that Jake has with certain decisions in his life involving his child, his wife and this new person, Emily, which I went through myself and can say it’s the nearest thing I have read to how I felt at the time too. Brilliant, honest writing by the author to get the emotion of it all down on paper and across to the reader to really feel those emotions.

I highly recommend this book which covers many topics in a sensitive but honest way and I thank NetGalley for a free copy in return for an honest review.
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Really good book.  Another one I read in a day.  I used to run an autism unit so I could totally identify with Alford character and traits and it took me back to very happy times.  I loved Emily and even Jake - who i didn’t think I would.  I didn’t much like Jemma. I’m not a lover of mums who give up on their kids but the character was written very well. Awesome book - look forward to another
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Great book! Touching and funny and easy to get into from the start, I could have read more and more.
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Saturdays at Noon is a wonderfully diverse novel exploring the delicacy and fragility of contemporary human relationships. 
The main premise of the novel is that Emily and Jake are attending a anger management class/group. Jake is there in an effort to save his marriage and develop a stronger relationship with his son, Alfie, while Emily is there because she was forced to be by a court order, though she is far more tight-lipped as to what she did for this to have happened. The two characters can't stand each other, standing in very different circles, in very different lives. Jake is a stay-at-home dad, living comfortably, though yearning to find time for himself, his hobbies, and his wife. Emily works in a cafe, earning little and feeling isolated and mostly alone in the world. It is only when Alfie takes a shine to Emily that the pair are forced to make a relationship work, even if it is just so Jake can have five minutes of quiet time. Yet, as Jake's world comes crumbling down around him, and Alfie becomes even more demanding, Emily takes an opportunity she never would have considered, and their lives only become further entangled.
Presented from a first person point of view, the reader is able to see the world through three character's eyes, and it's wonderful to see the conflict of emotion and indecision represented so well. I was stunned at how well a child's voice was captured in Alfie, and how well a young boy's thoughts are articulated.
This is a delicately written novel, exploring the modern-day relationship, where although two people may have once been the best match possible, times do change. I believe that the characters are superbly developed, and although I did not like Emily early on, the more the reader sees of her and understands her, we come to sympathise with her, which is something that can be said for all characters, but Emily's character arc most significantly. 
In all aspects, Saturday at Noon is beautifully sensitive, softly humorous, and heart-wrenching until the end.
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A joyous read. An amazing debut.

The story is told from three perspectives - the main two being Jake and Emily - with a few from Alfie, Jake's son.
Jake and Emily meet at anger management class – Jake is there to save his marriage and Emily is there for an unspecified reason. Neither feels they should be there. Feeling defensive, they immediately get off on the wrong foot. 

Jake and his wife are finding it difficult to deal with their (not-yet diagnosed but obviously) autistic son. Emily is dealing with the fallout of a difficult childhood. When chance allows Emily and Jake to meet outside of their anger management sessions it is clear to Jake that Emily is good and patient with Alfie, he offers her a short-term job as Alfie's nanny. Throughout the book we find out how they all cope with their respective lives and what made them 'angry'.  It's an insight into the difficulties of relationships, parenting and coping. 

The story is beautiful and it brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
 
I absolutely loved this book. I didn't want it to end - please can we have a part two!


VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
 
Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review.
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Alfie is a six year old boy in the UK with too many thoughts and feelings to know what to do with. In “Saturdays at Noon”, by Rachel Marks, we meet Alfie’s Mum and Dad (Jake and Jemma) and Emily, as their paths cross. 

Jake and Emily meet at Anger Management class one Saturday, where they are paired up. As Emily gets to know Alfie, she recognises herself in him, and tries to help him communicate better. Meanwhile, Jake and Jemma are struggling in their marriage, and in trying to deal with Alfie’s meltdowns and tantrums on a daily basis. 

This ticked along quite nicely, and I did enjoy reading it. It was good timing for me as we had a couple of short flights to take, so it passed the time.
Circumstances change and Emily starts to take care of Alfie, getting closer to Jake. There are three different narrative voices - Alfie, Jake and Emily, a standard format with the adults and perhaps a little more unusual with the kid’s in there too. 

Some of the plot points were pretty obvious, which is part of the fun sometimes, of course - spotting the changes coming down the line. Others were less obvious, and I enjoyed being slightly sideswiped with an unpredicted, and still believable, change of direction. 

All in all, absolutely a personal story for Rachel Marks to write and no doubt an enjoyable read. A little too formulaic for me, I think, and I didn’t quite buy the central love story. I wanted to hear more about the friendship between Alice and Emily, as the couple of interactions were really fun and natural. 

As always, thank you to Netgalley and Penguin for providing me with this copy!
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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.
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What a fantastic book. Rachel Marks has created the most believable characters in Alfie, Jake and Emily and I absolutely loved their story. Despite the fact that her characters are all very damaged people in different ways, they are so relatable and she shows how they can ultimately save each other by learning from each other. I read a lot of this story with a large lump in my throat - the writing is brilliant and it is such a beautiful story. Bravo, Rachel, I can't wait to read your next one.
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This book was FANTASTIC. When I wasn’t reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It made my heart both soar and break in rapid succession. 

Some incredibly important messages, including how to understand someone else’s view of the world. I loved how it touched on family relationships, and how these relationships can affect somebody both positively and negatively. Some of the ups and downs were completely unexpected, and at points I could barely catch my breath - which is why I fell in love with this book.
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This was definitely worth a read. 2 people meet at an anger management course and connect through his difficult son, who is also one of the narrators. The multiple narrators actually works as more details about each of the characters emerges.
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Saturdays At Noon is something very different to my usual reads so I was really intrigued in how I would get on with this. Straight away I liked Emily, I found her to be really relatable and I liked how honest she was about her struggles. It took me a while to grow to like Jake but over time I found myself gaining more and more sympathy for him and his situation, at times I found myself questioning how I would cope if I was in his shoes. I like that the book was a multiple person narrative and we heard from both Emily and Jake, aswell as even little Alfie at times. It really gave me an insight into how his mind works! Overall, an incredibly enjoyable book that I'm glad I took a chance on. I didn't want to put it down and I loved the ending
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I can’t praise this book highly enough. I was expecting some light little tale of two people who meet, argue a bit, reconcile and live Happily Ever After. How wrong I was! What it is, in fact, is humorous, thought-provoking and at times heartbreaking . Jake and Emily are trying to unpick the causes of their anger at a class run by the even-tempered and understanding Sam. Both are there because they feel they have to be; Jake because he wants to try and salvage his marriage and have more patience with his young son and Emily for reasons that are only revealed towards the end of the book. The path of their relationship does not run smooth (and at times you doubt they will even have one besides that of Employer and Nanny)
It is immensely heartening to find a character who is on the autistic spectrum without being portrayed as a savant or a pedantic solver-Of-mysteries. Alfie is in turns a typical 6 year old, a confused and distressed little boy and an absolute joy to be with. The descriptions of his emotions, how he looks at the world and how he tries to organise things and people around him to lessen his own upset are absolutely spot on. Never patronising, never trite, this author knows exactly what’s in his head and every scene with him in rings true.
There are a couple of plot developments that seemed a bit convenient, but enough veracity in the character portrayals for this not to be an issue.
I look forward to other books by the author and to echo the thanks in The Acknowledgements I’d like to thank her and the publishers for the opportunity to read this proof copy.
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I did take a few attempts to read this book as I was distracted by other books in my reading list.  When I finally got going it was a very worthwhile surprise.

The setting for the story is quite mundane you meet Emily and Jake who are both attending anger management classes.  Both of which you learn why they are at these classes over time.  You also get to meet Alfie, Jake's son who Emily bonds with very quickly.  Alfie has his own challenges in life, which is told in a sensitive way and even from Alfie's point of view.  

This made the story even more emotional for me.  I did cry at the end and here we are a few days later after finishing the book, I am still thinking about it.

Wonderful story that is beautifully written about how life does't quite work out as planned however can still be a happier path for everyone.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this advanced copy in exchange for a honest review.
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This is an amazing book which sympathetically and sensitively deals with behavioural problems encountered with a child on The Autism Spectrum.  Rachel has obviously experienced this at first hand and so produces an incredibly insightful read.  It is a compelling read and draws the reader in totally with a mixture of humour and heartbreak which is written from the viewpoint of the three main characters.  It is a romance, but not in the usual way due to the believable ordinary characters dealing with real issues within an original story line which will stay with the reader long after the book is finished.  I hope we hear more from this author.
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When I started reading this book, I wondered if I would keep going. I am very glad I did. The reason was that the description of the behaviour of Alfie,a six year old who turns out later to suffer from a form of autism,is so good and insightful it is hard to read about. The description of this boy and the factors that control his behaviour is superbly and accurately described. The father won't accept his son's need for anything more than a disciplined routine although his mother has her doubts. As for many people,that causes marital problems. The father is helped by someone he meets at an anger management course. She is the most unlikely source of advice but makes the father understand his son's issues. All of this is contained within a well told family story that makes the book an unusual but important read.
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What an amazing first book!  As a teacher and a friend to a few parents who have children that have been diagnosed with autism, I was able to empathise a little with the story of Alfie and his dad Jake who seems to be permanently confused; by his wife, his son and life in general. It is a really lovely story - I hate to use cliched words like 'nice', but it is! It's a really interesting and POSITIVE insight into the life of an autistic child and the people close to him, which I gather the author has some experience of, and it shows. A great debut and I look forward to seeing what Rachel Marks delves into next. 
Netgalley sent me this book in return for an honest review....
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I absolutely loved this book ... delving into the world of autism in the delightful character of Alfie we see relationships around him and how he copes day to day. When’s Alfie’s dad Jake meets Emily at Anger Management classes we see the beginning of a friendship developing with Alfie bring the one bringing them together. When Jake’s wife Jemma decides she needs a break Emily steps in as ‘the nanny’ ... her special relationship and understanding of Alfie’s special needs bring this book alive ... a real treasure of a read !!!
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