Tuesday 1 September 2020

The Bench by Saskia Sarginson @SaskiaSarginson @PiatkusBooks #TheBench @JoannaWick #BookReview

It begins at the end.

It begins on a bench, on a heath, where a woman waits for a man.

Ten years ago, they made a pact:

On this bench, on this day, they will end a love affair that's spanned three decades, or start again.

They should never have met. They should never have fallen in love.

But they did, until a lie separated them for a lifetime.

Can they fix the mistake, forgive the lie, erase the years in-between?

Can what was lost ever truly be found?

The Bench by Saskia Sarginson is published in paperback by Piatkus on 3 September 2020. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

A love story that begins at the end. The reader meets Cat as she sits on a bench on Hampstead Heath and waits for him. It is 2004, and ten years ago they made a pact. They would meet, at this bench which holds the most special of memories for them, and they may end their relationship .... or they may not.

This opening chapter is intriguing and compelling, as Cat looks out across the Heath and sees the figure of a man walking toward her, the reader is fascinated to know the whole story.

The author then takes the reader back thirty years. It is 1983 in Atlantic City, USA and Cat is the sole earner in her home. She works at a funeral parlour, and her money pays the rent of the small wooden house that she lives in with her parents. Her mother is downtrodden and full of regret, her father is a gambler - also full of regret, but addicted to the thought of one day, picking those winning numbers.

Sam Sage is English and has been travelling through the US. He's left behind his wealthy London life and girlfriend and is contemplating his future. It's just him and his guitar and an assortment of shabby hostel beds. Cat and Sam meet and there is an instant attraction. Both of them see something in the other that they can relate to and over the next few weeks they begin a whirlwind relationship full of emotion and longing. However, Sam must return to the UK, but they have plans, they are determined that this is not a holiday fling, they know that they are made for each other.

However, like many great plans, things do not go their way, and what follows is an often heartbreaking story of lost love; of successes and of failures; of missed opportunities and of mistakes made.

Told over various time periods, through Cat and Sam's own voices, this is a wonderfully honest depiction of love. Cat and Sam are cleverly and skilfully created; they have their flaws, but the reader cannot help but root for them along the way. Spanning decades and taking in the various highs of life, along with the often tragic and devastating lows, this is a love story that will warm the hardest of hearts.

The Bench is an incisive lyrical story with characters who become so real to the reader. The contrast of settings; loud, brash Atlantic City and the green haven of Hampstead Heath is beautifully created. Fans of David Nicholls and Jojo Moyes will love this. I loved it too!

Saskia was born in Manchester in 1961, but grew up in Suffolk. 
She has a B.A hons in Fashion Design and Communication from St. Martin’s School of Art and read English Literature at Cambridge University. 
She was awarded a distinction in her Creative Writing M.A from Royal Holloway University. 

Saskia worked as Health and Beauty Editor on Company magazine and has written for various publications such as Cosmopolitan, You magazine, The Telegraph, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Clothes Show, Zest, She and M & S Magazine. 
She has also been a script reader, copy writer and ghost writer. 

She lives in London with her four children, (including twin girls) her partner, Alex, a TV series producer/director – and two cats and two dogs.

Author Page on Facebook
Twitter @SaskiaSarginson

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