What It’s About:
Andrew Colbrook and Saskia Hill had only been dating for six months before they decided to get married, a time most would consider too short. But not to Andrew and Saskia, both of whom were smitten with each other and ready to tackle every issue thrown their way as a married couple. Because of their class differences, Andrew being upper class while Saskia was middle class, there were a lot of compromise on both their ends. However, marriage is all about compromises and they were willing to do whatever it took to keep it going. This was why Saskia proposed a pact to Andrew for the first year of their marriage since that was the hardest year for most couples. The pact stated that they had to have sex with each other everyday for a year — no exceptions.
It seemed simple enough until obstacles started getting in their way. Both of their careers were going in different directions, giving them no time for each other. And to make matters awkward, their exes started coming back into the picture, causing for some jealousy and misunderstanding. In the end, they had to decide whether they wanted to allow all of this to come between them or if they were willing to put in the effort to protect what they had.
This was my first time reading something by Gen and I’m so glad I did. The First Year is the perfect summer read. It’s light, funny, and romantic — all the good things about a chick lit novel.
I was most taken by the different characters and the level of depth and detail added to each of them. The story was told from two point of views — Andrew’s and Saskia’s — so we got a glimpse of both their thought processes and what they were feeling. It took away a lot of the anxiety that comes from having only one POV where we as readers are left wondering what the other person was up to. However, it also added a layer of frustration when it was obvious to the readers that they both felt the same way but weren’t able to express it to each other.
The story was also realistic with its subject matters in the sense that these sort of things do happen in real life. Usually with chick lit novels, there are moments that seem a bit cartoonish, added for the comedic effect, but Gen did a great job in being relatable and not overdoing anything while also remaining quirky in her own way.
I would recommend this to anyone who needs another book on their list for the summer. You won’t regret it as this is an easy read that you’ll breeze right through.
Genevieve Gannon is an Australian journalist and author. She has worked in newsrooms in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in The Age, The Australian, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Most recently she covered crime in Melbourne for Australian Associated Press before moving to Sydney to be a feature writer for The Australian Women’s Weekly. The First Year is her third novel.