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Mad Mischief: A Novel

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  33 reviews
What happens when an elite African safari is transformed into a psychotic journey of survival for a society wife traveling with her narcissistic husband? In Mad Mischief, the shimmering beauty and primal power of Sub-Saharan Africa is the setting for this story of love, deceit, obsession and ultimately, escape and redemption.

Inspired by true events, Mad Mischief is the h
Kindle Edition, 456 pages
Published May 22nd 2017 by MCP Books
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Susan John Yes. I think that there are times in all of our lives when we need to re-invent ourselves and we need to know that people have an intrinsic ability to…moreYes. I think that there are times in all of our lives when we need to re-invent ourselves and we need to know that people have an intrinsic ability to go forward, just by putting one foot in front of the other.(less)
Susan John All the comments I have received on the website and on Amazon have been wonderful and have ratified my decision to publish the book.
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4.44  · 
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 ·  41 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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David Lucero
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Ultimate Adventure!

On surface, Sarah appears to have it all. She and husband, Peter, are financially well-off, so much they can afford what many consider the ultimate African safari!

Set in the 90's during Clinton's American presidency, Sarah and Peter embark on safari with respected guide, Max. Although this journey is one of many which some can only dream of experiencing, Sarah hopes to repair her marriage with Peter. During they many years of marriage they have grown apart.
Author offers $10 Starbucks gift card in exchange for a review on GR.

Approach reviews of this book with caution.
Happy Booker
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mad Mischief is a literary fiction about Sarah traveling to Africa with her husband. Her relationship has many issues, and with the trip being a stressful one, it did not get any better. While you genuinely get to feel that you have gone to Africa and have experienced this beautiful country, the descriptive writing allows you to also sense the tension and problems this trip faced.

The story takes another turn when the tour guide gets into trouble with the law, and Sarah acts in attempting to fix
Charles Ray
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mad Mischief by Susan St. John is an interesting story; Sarah and her husband decide to go on an African safari, and she convinces him to go with the madcap guide, Max, instead of a more staid, predictable East Africa guided tour. They are already having relationship problems, and the trip does nothing to improve them. This is actually two stories, woven together in a unique way. The longer story tells the reader about the trip and their misadventures, with a shorter version, detailing Sarah’s a ...more
Píaras Cíonnaoíth
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Susan St. John beautifully captures the magic of Africa...

Author Susan St. John weaves a compelling and haunting saga, with intriguing twists and turns that will easily captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning. The author paints a gripping and mesmerizing story of love, power, obsession and redemption in a very vivid and convincing way. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction. It’s a unique and very interesting novel that will keep you engaged from
Goth Gone Grey
Where to begin with this book? The safari setting played background to the depth of the characters, and the interactions between them, the wildness of the characters making the exotic animals seem tame and calm. The characters raised so many emotions, leaving me wondering what was going to happen next in the lapses when I had to set the book down to handle mundane life instead. By the end, I felt upset for the main character and all she'd gone through, being pushed around by people - primarily m ...more
Velma  Hayes
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Within the first three pages of this book, I was hooked. The richness, the Author, gives us is incredible. The characters are full, especially the main character of Sarah. She's the catalyst of the story which is not only about her but also about Africa. The Author speaks so clearly that you can see pictures in your head that are surprising, unusual, and sometimes uncomfortable. The plot-line is two-faced and constantly weaving in and out of each other. Done so masterly that you don't even noti ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*** Mad Mischief Susan St. John

Wow! What a ride! I can’t even put into words how beautiful this book is. But, I will try.
Ms. St. John sure has a way with words. The descriptions of the savannah of Africa, the animals, the safari etc. are expansive and patiantly painted with a fine brush in many hues and smudged with a finger to bring out the most wonderful story about a woman named Sarah. Sarah and her husband Peter have decided to go on a safari with a well-known safari guide, Max, to Kenya an
CA Portnellus
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is actually two almost three stories woven together.
For the most part, the story and plot moves well. What the author did really well was to describe the African safari, countryside, animals and the local people. Lovely photo safari, and glad it wasn't a killing safari.
The characters for the most part are well made, interesting and complex. However, it is the main character that I worry about, she is a doormat. Everyone around her sees it, some take pity and make extra waves to make
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 02-02-19
I received this book from the author to read and review.
At first I was unsure where this book was going. Sarah and Peter go on Safari to Africa and all their relationship problems follow them. Sarah ends up staying in Africa and falls in love with the animals, the country and most of the people. Sarah has some trouble understanding the customs and finds herself with angry people trying to explain to her what she has to do to get things done. Sarah is befriended by many, possibly because of the m
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers, general readers
Recommended to Annotaré by: author requested review
In the Prologue we meet Sarah and Peter and the ruddy-faced safari guide, Max Enfield, soaking wet from an Atlanta rainstorm, but to Sarah “dripping with charm.”

Susan St. John’s beautiful and imaginative use of words flow page-by-page immersing readers into her intriguing story with a steady pace moving us through the African culture: its beautiful dangers, and patchwork history where the story of Max, Sarah and Peter unfolds.

In chapter 1, the story leaps ahead and we find Sarah has ex
Ronald Keeler
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I think Mad Mischief by Susan St. John is a well written and interesting novel for a comparatively small group of readers. I read it to the end but personally found it boring. Which is not to say not good (double negatives attract attention with their annoyance). This is a travel book, think Safari Adventure. The descriptions are detailed and expressed with beautiful language. And this is what bores me. I don’t want to read the travel adventures of others, I want to experience them myself. Which ...more
Dawn Ochs
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
When I described this book to a friend I said it was an angry book. I often felt sorry for the main character and felt anger for her circumstances or from those she interacted with. I loved the description of the country, savanna and the safari. I love to escape in books to see a different world and I truly did in this book. I just can’t say I loved this book.
Schuyler Wallace
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it

Author Susan St. John reached out to me for a review of her novel, “Mad Mischief.” I’m glad she did because I might have missed her impressive story about Africa and the humans that impose themselves on its glorious environs. In truth, the book is more about the humans and their unique minds than about the setting and the animals, something some critics bemoaned, but I found a clever balance between the two.

The novel, set in Kenya and Tanzania, is about a dysfunctional man and woman who embark o
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
When I read the blurb for Mad Mischief, I was intrigued. I have read very few books that take place in Africa. I have read even fewer books that take place on a photography safari. Since I am an easy-going reader, I figured I would enjoy reading it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I had to struggle to finish the book.

I did think that the storyline of Mad Mischief was interesting. A woman nearing the end of her rope goes on a safari with her husband and another couple. While on safari, the w
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A safari of self discovery or a thesis on the human condition?

A beautifully written tale in which Sarah (the main character) goes on a safari with her husband and another couple. Their guide is an enigmatic man who seems to weave a spell around them all whilst at the same time giving serious put downs to all especially her. The main part is seen through the present and the past. Reflecting on the safari they had undergone and also her actions once she discovers that Max (the guide) is under arr
Jennifer G
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Mad Mischief is the story of a journey. A journey of physical, personal, and spiritual nature. Sarah and her husband undertake a transforming safari through the game reserves of Kenya and Tanzania and the streets of Nairobi. Sarah is neurotic, her husband is selfish and thoughtless, and their safari guide is cruel. Sarah has bee beaten down by her life. But along the way, she learns the lessons of Africa. One matriarchal herd of elephants opens her eyes and changes her heart allowing her to find ...more
Jeff Dawson
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it
First off, this is one of those stories that has great potential than runs out of steam at the end. I’ve never been on a Safari, much less a trip to Kenya but when you’ve read seventy-five percent of the story, you will have thought you’d been on one which is a great point. Susan does and excellent job in describing all the sight, sounds and smells of the landscape and animals. Well done! However, while that part of the story is excellent, it bleeds over into all the conversations between the c ...more
Mel Ann
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Her journal is the true vision of Africa. Written to describe just how beautiful the sites truly are. After Sarah's brush with death, coming to Africa feels like it could be a new begining. Two weeks of hellish treatment by not only her selfish husband Peter, but her ignorant chauvinistic safari guide Max. He has a dangerous look, he's handsome, he's a know it all and a pig , but there is still something about him that Sarah is drawn to.

At every opportunity Sarah is berated by both Peter and Ma
Ron Mac
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
~A serious drama of struggle and triumph
~First, I’ll state that I received this book as a gift from the author to read and review.
~This is not a book that I would have normally sought out. I tend toward murder mysteries and sci-fi books. This is most definitely a seriously written (fictional) drama.

~I have met people just like the characters in this book. I didn’t like them in real life and I don’t like them in the book. Which shows how good a story-teller, Susan St. John really is! She has cre
Nupur Chowdhury
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting is the adjective that first comes to mind when I think of this story! I thought all the characters were exquisitely crafted and terribly fun to read about, especially those of Sarah and Max.

Another area in which the author shines is imagery and descriptions. The landscapes and sceneries of Africa are gloriously described in this book. If you are a travel enthusiast and like reading vivid descriptions of foreign places and customs, then I can guarantee that you will enjoy this story!
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from the author.

First things first is this is a well written,vividly described novel.I felt like it was actually there with Sarah.
The safari scenes are a bit gory with Max's commentary thrown in but fascinating nonetheless.

I did not like Peter. He is rude,mean and just an awful person.Sarah deserved better than him.I feel a little sorry for him at the end.

Max just confused me.I'm not sure if it was Sarah's mental state or if it was Max was just that jarring and obnoxious.I like
Carol DeuPree
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Mad Mischief” is an extremely compelling and exquisitely well written novel. I only wish it had been an option when I was voting on the Goodreads best books competition because I think it is better than any of the books for which I voted. The last book in which I was so engrossed was “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” I hope I can look forward to Ms. St. John’s novel becoming a movie as well. I am already casting it in my head.
Although the story definitely emanates from a feminist perspec
Payal Sinha
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mad Mischief is a beautiful story with a number of elements to spice it up. The story has both highs and lows just like the bipolar disorder and shows a woman who is struggling both with her emotions and her self-esteem. The heroine meets a number of men in her life and especially in the short interval of a safari and these men make a profound impression on her life. Many try to take advantage of her, while a few works in breaking down her self-esteem, yet our heroine comes out of all the trials ...more
Pelusa Rivera
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rcvd an ARC at no cost to author..This is the first time I ever read this author and I am glad to have had the opportunity. We meet Sarah who has been married for a long time to Peter and she is finally realizing that he is not the man that she thought he was. This is a story on reflection and you go along the journey with Sarah. This author made you feel it and you were heartbroken with her and hoping the whole time that she get rid of Peter he was not nice at all and he honestly did not deserv ...more
Nancy Silk
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"An Epic Novel Of Adventure and Drama"

This is a wonderful, amazing story of Sarah and her husband traveling to East Africa to join a safari. While on the safari, Sarah is faced with a narcissistic, demanding husband, sadistic guide, and a protective photographer. What's worse is that she has a reaction to the weekly dose of anti-malarial medication which is transforming her into a different person and she eventually turns manic. This is a story which is captivating, a great adventure of sights a
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Susan St. John brings to life a character, Sarah, who wants to explore and go on Safari with her husband. She is a Los Angeles native and wants to take on a continent. She gets more than she bargained for and learns more about herself, life and those around her.
This book brings to life the continent of Africa - written beautifully and as a woman, I can relate to the character, her inner structure, and her sustanance. Beautifully vivid and vivacious reading for those who yearn to learn more abou
M. Weidner
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sarah's journey was heart stopping. Both from the vivid, lyrical descriptions of the safari, with it's beauty and brutality, and from the edge of sanity that Sarah seemed to always teeter on. That she let her husband and Max push her around and make her feel small had me angry and then I began to recognize the problem. Sarah's compulsions, justifying behaviors, impulsiveness, etc. and her history of mental problems after her father's demise all came together to show the fragile mental condition ...more
Sherry Westendorf
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read. Read the blurb and then the story. This story is intense dramatic, emotional, suspenseful, learning and so much more. It is one you have to read to get the full effect of it. One you can't put down. I absolutely loved it. A woman on a journey with a narcissistic husband and savage guide and so much more. Something that causes anxiety, intense emotional situations and much more. This is her journey of life at this time. I received a review copy and voluntarily review it.
Cheryl   Graham-Petit
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What happens when an elite African safari is transformed into a psychotic journey of survival for a society wife traveling with her narcissistic husband? You get a well written story of deceit, obsession, drama, twists and turns, danger, misadventures, obsession, an intriguing storyline, well-developed and interesting characters, and love.

I volunteered to review an advance reader copy of this book.
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What do The Universal Studios Tour, Yosemite National Park, the world of finance, and an African safari have in common? Author Susan St. John. She drew from her wealth of corporate and personal experiences to create a captivating first novel, “Mad Mischief.” Realizing that life itself is a journey, she used lessons and character insights from her experiences as a Vice President of Sales, securitie ...more