THE SATURDAY GIRLS
– Published 23rd August 2018
by Elizabeth Woodcraft
*May contain spoilers*
The story follows young girl Linda as she lives out her Mod life in her last years at school. Her best friend Sandra has already left and is hoping for reckless boyfriend Danny to propose to her on one of his free days from prison. In the meantime, Linda is trying to do all she can to support the CND campaign, help with baby sitting, earn money, and prepare for her exams. Any money she can earn can allow her to buy new Mod clothes to fit in with the crowds on Saturdays and hopefully catch the eye of top Mod, Tap. Her baby sitting leads to an unusual friendship to blossom with the towns mad woman, Sylvie. Linda hopes to find out about Sylvie’s life and how she became the person she is now.
Complete and honest opinion: I really didn’t like this book. I got three quarters of the way through and I just couldn’t finish because I was utterly bored and ended up in a reading slump. I was originally looking forward to reading it as I’ve never read anything set in the 60s before and I remember learning about the mods and rockers when I was in high school and thought it would be a interesting read.
From first impressions, I expected a light-hearted romance mixed in with memorabilia from the author, making it a lovely little insights to the life of a mod girl. There are moments that show this, but they are just that: moments. I found the pace to be very slow and the writing was a bit odd. An example being that when one character is telling a story to another, the character will still say “blah blah blah” he said, like it’s actually a book whereas in conversational dialogue, no one speaks like that. I wouldn’t have minded so much but it kept happening throughout and it really alienated me from the story. The plot itself lacked any kind of adventure, mystery, romance, or anything really. I had no idea how to explain the genre. There are those moments where you expect romance to bloom and the story to show this. Tap and Linda have a lovely moment at his work and then the second he sees Ray in a chapter or two later, you never hear from him again until pretty later. I think over a hundred pages pass before his name even cropped up. In a romance, that shouldn’t happen.
There were multiple possibilities for a good story to shine through. If the plot had stuck to the lives of Sandra and Danny, or Sylvie, or just Linda’s romances then I’m sure it would have been much more interesting. Instead, it kept hopping between them all which doesn’t give enough chance for the reader to gain much detail about either.
This book was really not one for me. I got so bored and I’ll admit, I was complaining about it a lot to the people around me. I wanted to push through it so badly so I could write a full review but at about three quarters of the way through I gave up. It was taking me forever to read because I just wasn’t interested. I kept doing other things so I wouldn’t have to read it, ultimately putting myself in a reading slump. Rather than a romance novel, it felt more like it was trying too hard to be a badly written memoir. The writing style wasn’t that bad had the plot helped it out. Instead it was just a long passage of time following someone who probably had quite an interesting life but was able to make everything sound quite boring. Linda, the character, never really seemed too enthusiastic about the good things in her life so how is the reader supposed to.
I suppose some people might really like this book but not me. Hopefully the next book I read will be much more interesting and I can finally get out of this slump and enjoy reading again!
Until the next book…