Book review: The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson ⁠

Synopsis

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

Review

This was a beautifully penned story about memories and how our brain shapes them. Don’t be tricked by the word ‘ghost’ and Goodreads categorisation of ‘horror’, this is very subtle on anything spooky. It’s felt more like a dark suspense novel for me.⁠

I was very excited going in to this book, and while I did enjoy the book overall, I really struggle reading coming-of-age novels. Something about the genre doesn’t gel well with me. Maybe it’s because all the ones I’ve read haven’t felt very relatable to my own life growing up, but I’ve never felt these books really touch me in the childhood feelings like they’re meant to.⁠

That being said, the writing in this one is so incredibly beautiful that even the non-relatable aspects of the story are strong with emotion. After all, you don’t have to always relate to character’s experiences to feel effected by them.⁠

My main takeaway from this book was the loveable characters we get to meet. The quirky eccentric uncle trope has been used a million times but it was done in this story. Davidson still managed to make his character unique in it’s own way.⁠

I did guess where this book was going pretty early on. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a surprising reveal. At least for me, it felt like all signs pointed in one direction. But that’s okay because it’s how the story ended up there that really makes this an enjoyable read.⁠

Overall I liked this quite a bit despite having that disconnect over it being a coming-of-age. The writing really sealed the deal in making this more than just an okay read for me. I’m glad to have read it!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Details:

Pages: 224
Edition Published:
2018
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Coming-of-age
Goodreads Av. Rating: 3.92

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