Melody's Reviews > Saturday

Saturday by Ian McEwan
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's review
Apr 02, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 1001-books-to-read-before-i-die
Read from March 26 to April 02, 2010

What an odd point of view this short McEwen novel uses to tell us this story of the day in the life of Henry Perowne. It is told all in third person, but the narrator has all the goods on Henry. So even though it is not from Henry’s point of view – we are in his car, we play squash with him, we operate on his patients, we visit his mom. And like Henry we begin to see that every little event has such rippling effects on his world and beyond. And at the same time, some things, no matter how hard we want them to and how hard we try to make them, some things cannot be changed and maybe they are not fair and maybe they are just a damn shame – but they will come to pass.
So Henry wants a regular Saturday. He wants to make love to his wife, who he is still deeply in love with after all these years of marriage. He wants to play squash with his mate – even though he is feeling the effects of getting older and knows he must soon, very soon, stop playing squash and stop running marathons. He wants to visit his mother in the nursing home – well maybe he does this out of a sense of duty because his mom doesn’t know who he is or where she is. He wants to hear his son’s new song. He wants to get ready to cook dinner because his daughter, Daisy is coming home to reconcile with his father-in-law after a disagreement about poetry for god’s sake. But because there are war protesters in the street and a cop gives him a wave to come on across a closed road, and because some poor, down and out chaps come zipping out of a lap dance bar and hit his car, events change. Henry had already woken up in a very inward-looking mood and Baxter (the driver of the other car) causes his thoughts to go even deeper.
It’s been quite a while since I thought a book deserved a five star rating – but I must have been in the mood for introspection.

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Melody I'm loving this so far.

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