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Saint X

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Hailed as a “marvel of a book” and “brilliant and unflinching,” Alexis Schaitkin’s stunning debut Saint X is a haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters never truly given the chance to know one another.

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Ca
Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Celadon Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  167 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
This book = BOOK CLUB GOLD!!!

There is so much to chew on and discuss here that book clubs across the globe will be talking about this book come February!

Claire is only 7 years old while vacationing with her family on the tropical island of Saint X. Claire is a quiet child, some may even say a bit odd, but one thing is for certain: Claire and her big sister Alison share a tight bond. She admires Alison's beauty, her wit, her intelligence, the way that she lights up a room, the way people gravi
Katie B
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Ooh, this was a good one! The book is being compared to Emma Cline’s The Girls, and Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, and since I haven't read either of those books, I have no idea if that is a fair comparison or not. While reading this book though I kept getting Celeste Ng vibes to the story so if you like that author, I recommend reading Saint X.

During a family vacation on the Caribbean island of Saint X, college student, Alison, goes missing. A few days later h
Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: from-publisher
All other books can go home because this is the only one I want to read. 😍

*Review copy furnished by via a friend who attended Book Expo>
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I begin my review I would first like to ask everyone to stand for a slow clap in reverence for Celadon Books.

👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏

The new voices they are presenting to the literary world are beyond compare. I've no doubt that all of my friends on Goodreads Island of Misfit Readers has AT LEAST one of their authors books on their Best of 2019 list.

So, kudos Celadon, you've made mine and many others year in books among the best yet.

Ahem, ok here we go...
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Allison-"I'm going on a treasure hunt and I'm bringing a pearl".
Claire-"I'm going on a treasure hunt and I'm bringing a pearl and a pizza".

Yearly, the Thomas family visit a different Caribbean island for a week long stay, in order to recharge. They take a break from winter in New York. The Indigo Bay Resort on the island of Saint X is this year's choice. Mr. Thomas arguably "...wears his affluence tastefully...describes their life as a 'fortunate life'." Eighteen year old Allis
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
Saint X was a good story... but I could tell with the first page the author's writing style was just not for me. This book was not the suspense/mystery I was expecting, and it was longer than it needed to be. I did enjoy the brief pages from the perspective of the other characters. Gave a little more insight. I would have loved more about the folklore of the goat woman on Faraway Cay.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you weren’t as lucky as me in getting an advance reader’s copy of Saint X, do yourself a favor. Mark the date Feb. 18 on your calendar. And then walk, don’t run, to your computer or your nearest bookstore and snag yourself a copy. Because this book will entice and haunt you.

Comparisons will, I’m sure, be made to the case of Natalee Holloway, the pretty American girl who disappeared while vacationing in the Caribbean. Similarly, Alison, a privileged Princeton college student, disap
Oct 19, 2019 marked it as arcs-to-read
Recommended to Tucker by: Celadon Books

Many thanks to Celadon Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

I think my favorite part of working with Celadon is the creative and enjoyable unique swag that comes with the ARC

p.s. those glasses didn't come with the ARC. they're from my uncle's brewery

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Gorgeous writing, appealing settings (Saint X and NYC), and an intriguing story told from various viewpoints made for spellbinding reading.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.
Nancy McFarlane
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Saint X is a deeply moving and complex novel about Allison, a beautiful and brilliant 18 year old who on the verge of adulthood starts questioning everything about her life – her privilege, her friends, her family, her purpose. Her life ends tragically under mysterious circumstances on the beautiful island of Saint X during a family vacation. The reader is left with memories and introspection from those who knew her and who had interacted with her to try and solve the mystery of her death. In pa ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saint X is a highly complex and extraordinary story of loss, obsession, and the depths that a family will go to to uncover the truth surrounding the mystery of a loved one’s death.

Seven-year old Clare is vacationing with her family at the Caribbean island of Saint X when her older sister, Alison, disappears one night and is later found dead. Two local men and employees of the resort where the family is vacationing are arrested for her murder, but later released because of lack of evidence. The
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
7-year-old Claire and her older sister, Alison, are on vacation with their parents on the Caribbean island of Saint X. On their last evening there, Alison disappears. Days later, her body is found and the police arrest two local men, Clive and Edwin. Clive and Edwin are soon released as there is not enough evidence to hold them. So the family comes home. Years later when Claire is an adult and living in New York City, she runs into Clive. Claire becomes obsessed with learning the truth of what h ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Alison(18 years old), her sister Claire(7 years old), and their parents go on vacation to the island of Saint X. When Alison vanished and is eventually found dead, the mystery surrounding her death changes many lives, forever. You might think that this will be Alison's story, but in fact, it revolves around Claire, the men who were last seen with Alison, and her parents( though Alison certainly is the catalyst for the story).
Many years separated Alison and Claire, and as an adult, Claire learn
Carlene Inspired
Jun 25, 2019 marked it as to-read
I am prepared to beg for an ARC of Saint X

Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saint X is a 2020 mystery / drama release, and it's definitely one you'll want to keep an eye out for. This book is on the slower side, so I wouldn't really call it a thriller, but it's full of mysteries and drama. The writing is so pretty, and I was immediately hooked.

The characters felt distant from the reader, especially at the beginning, which I don't always like, but it made it more interesting for the story that was being told so that you could look at everything objectively. T
Laura (crofteereader)
Thanks go to Celadon Books for providing me with a free copy to review - all opinions are my own.

This book unfurls very slowly. The writing is verbose and meandering and very cyclical, with so much of the story taking place deep in the unsettled parts of the main character's mind. Imagine if Dickens took to the tropics, and you'd be in the right neighborhood.

This wasn't the murder mystery I was expecting. It was very much about the way a tragedy affects the people involve
Denise  Reed
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not wait to get my hands on this book, as it is touted as being "a gripping psychological drama straight from the headlines." The similarities to the Natalie Holloway story, which has always fascinated me, were so striking, that it was a must-read for me. While it was not exactly what I was expecting, it did not disappoint!

I have to start off by saying that Alexis Schaitkin has the writing chops - her writing style is mesmerizing (it is almost poetic), and her descriptions ar
Mary Lins
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
“Saint X”, the debut novel by Alexis Schaitkin, begins with a luscious description of an affluent family’s vacation on the fictional Caribbean island: Saint X. I’ve had the fortune to vacation on islands such as this, and Schaitkin’s evocative prose took me happily back to the mesmerizing ocean blues and the soothing scents. But soon enough this tranquil Thomas family vacation is shattered and my attention soon gripped not by memories of fragrant frangipani but by a riveting, suspenseful, myster ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, own, thriller
3.5 stars

“A haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters never truly given the chance to know one another.”

Claire has grown up barely knowing her sister and being in the middle of her parents heart ache and anguish over losing their oldest daughter, Alison, in a mysterious “accident” that Claire spends her time in this book, investigating in the only way she knows how. If she can just find the missing pieces, she just might be able to help heal herself and her/>“A
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written, poignant portrait of what happens to those left behind after tragedy takes a loved one.

Saint X, at first blush, is the story of Allison Thomas, found dead on a Caribbean Island after a night out during a family vacation. But we come to find this isn’t really Allison’s story. It’s that of her parents, the men suspected of murdering her, and mostly of her younger sister, who is still seeking answers in adulthood, long after Allison’s death.

Schaitkin writes gorgeously and i
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A young girl is killed at an exclusive resort in the Carribean. Her sister struggles to find normalcy in her life. Fast forward and the younger sister is older and still can’t let go of the past. She finds clues to one of her sister’s suspected killers. This book is not just about a murdered person but the aftermath of that event. This is a mesmerizing tale that has a lot going for it.

I agree with the other 5-star reviews!

Thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Alexis Schaitkin unspools a story of that 18-year-old we all know. The one with buckets of confidence and virtually no experience. Who wants to be thought well of, while never giving their parents the time of day. Who rolls her eyes, shows off her body, and keeps oodles of secrets.

In Saint X, Schaitkin’s debut novel, that young woman is Alison Thomas. Alison, not Ali. And Alison “spelled right.” She and her comfortably wealthy family are vacationing on a small Caribbean island during
Wendy Golding
So, you read the back cover and find out that this is a story about a wealthy New York metro area family (local for me) and their winter vacation to a Caribbean Island. It is there, on their vacation, mom, dad, college freshman daughter and 7 year old daughter, where the story begins. Something happens and the teenage daughter dies. I'm thinking, Natalee Holloway, right? I know this story, do I really want to read it? Well, this debut novel is so well written and edited and I found myself totall ...more
Rebecca Snow
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. Schaitkin has done impeccable research to create the island of Saint X to propel the drama that unfolds and it shows.

Many years after a vacation that left Claire's sister, Alison, dead, she encounters one of Alison's alleged killers, Clive Richardson. She becomes obsessed with his every move. But, this is not a book about whether or not Clive and his friend, Edwin, did the crime--Schaitkin forces the reader to confront the subjectivity of the truth in o
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Saint X is one of those rare books that encapsulate you in the past, present and future. I wasn't engaged in Alison's life and after finishing the book, I see now that I shouldn't have been. Alison's life wasn't the point of novel, but the catalyst for the destruction of the lives of those who surrounded her. The mystery- the obsession of what happened- consumes the characters and the reader. It is the consumption of her sister's life in the absence of Alison's that drives the story. It was a no ...more
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about this one?

I've seen this title on NetGalley and it looked pretty good, but I have so much on my TBR that I passed right over it. I assumed it would be good--Celadon's recent title The Whisper Man is one of my new favorites. But I figured Saint X would have to wait.

But then it showed up at my door. What to do, what to do!?

I was hooked from page one, that's what, and I finished in a few days.

On the fictional Caribbean island of Saint X, seve
Victoria Lingle
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished this debut novel last night, but I needed some time to think about what I wanted to write. This book hit me hard; I typically start another book immediately upon completion of another, and I haven't begun a new one yet.

This book was an emotional, slightly uncomfortable read as strong emotions outside of happiness are generally uncomfortable for me. It centers on the disappearance of Alison at a vacation resort on the island of Saint X and how it affects the victim's sister
Leslie M.
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
I love fast-paced psychological thrillers, and that’s what I expected with this book. However, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was a bit too long, which stalled the pace and took the suspense/mystery down a notch. I enjoyed the few insights the reader received from various POVs. I had a hard time staying engaged at times, and the ending fell a bit flat. Calling this a psychological thriller is a bit of a stretch compared to other books I’ve read in the past. The writing was descri ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eight Reasons to move Saint X to the top of your TBR pile.

1. Perspectives. The author told the story from several different angles, including some I would have never expected – like the gentleman gives tours of where xx spent her final hours. I was especially delighted to learn how the most memorably described but bit-part characters, guy in the dolphin-print swim trunks, life unfolded after vacationing in Saint X.
2. Great pacing. The story advances quickly.
3. Setting. Like the Bea
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I took this book along on a weekend getaway and found myself thinking of it every time I had to put it down. The story is compelling, the characters are complex and interesting and I loved the settings - the island of Saint X and NYC. This is a dramatic character study with an underlying mystery beautifully written; it is poetic and intriguing. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more from Alexis Schaitkin.

This would be an excellent selection for a book club as there are many societal themes
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Alexis Schaitkin’s short stories and essays have appeared in Ecotone, Southwest Review, the Southern Review, and other journals. Her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts with her husband and their son. Saint X is her debut ...more
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