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Saint X

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  585 ratings  ·  373 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
Hardcover, 340 pages
Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Celadon Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  585 ratings  ·  373 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea by: Celadon Books
"That night, Claire is awakened by the sound of a key rattling in the lock. As she surfaces from dreams, she watches the door to the hotel room open. Her sister tiptoes across the room and slides into bed. In the morning Claire wakes at dawn to find her sister's bed empty. She is on the balcony, her eyes fixed on something in the distance. It seems her sister is hardly sleeping at all."

The problem with reading a book and putting off writing the review for weeks is that the small details begin to
Miranda Reads
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Miranda by: Tucker
2.5 stars

Did you ever wish something terrible would happen to you so the world could see how strong you are?
Alison was always the star of the family - beautiful, brilliant and absolutely perfect - and Claire idolized her.

But one Caribbean vacation on the island of Saint X later, their family of four became a family of three.

Even though Claire was only seven, that memory was burned into her mind.
Their voices, though still friendly on the surface, have a coldness to them. No, she tells
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! It was impressive! It was unique! It was different!

Well, I have never been a great fan of anything slow burn but this brilliant author achieved amazing job and attracted my attention with the detailed, objective, photographic depictions and perfectly rounded characterization. This book is not a big mystery about unsolved case of a young woman’s dying. This is also not only about obsession of the sister she left behind or the grief of whole family recently changed their residents and
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it

Saint X is a fascinating character study that explores familial relationships, the boundaries of friendship, racial divide, and class privilege through the death of an 18-year-old girl on an exclusive Caribbean island resort.

Saint X is the story of Alison Thomas; a beautiful, witty and privileged 18-year-old girl who is found dead on an island during her family’s vacation in the 1990s. Claire, her seven-year-old sister, is now an only child. Two native islanders are accused of
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...


Simply stated, Alexis
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
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 her body is found and two
Holly  B

It all started on a fictional island called Saint X...

So much is going on in this story, I'm surprised it wasn't as long as it felt. Sometimes I enjoy detailed/descriptive writing, BUT at times this felt too slow with uneven pacing that had me getting frustrated. Maybe I was expecting a fast paced thriller/suspense?Not happening here.

A slow burn for sure, with a focus on obsession, lies and the psyche of the leading characters. At times it read like a movie and I was pulled into the

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

Hello, my name is Tucker and I read a book. I did not like that book but unfortunately, I do not have enough thoughts to write a proper review so… prepare yourself for my favorite type of review to write: A gif review.

Me when I started this book with Miranda:

Me when I started to realize I wasn’t enjoying this as much as I hoped:

Me trying to tell myself I was enjoying this book:

Me when the twist was revealed:

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 Allison is freckled and
4 stars

This is going to be a very controversial book in that it will generate a lot of disparate feelings and lots of discussion. It's not your old school crime thriller/whodunnit by any means. (I wish I could have been warned prior to reading about the pace of solving the crime. It's certainly not the books fault, but the very fast moving beginning put me in the wrong headspace for what I was to expect from the rest of the book so it took work to pull me out.) It is a true, 21st century

4.5 stars

A family of 4 goes on a trip to the island of Saint X, but tragically, only 3 return. A beautiful teenager on the cusp of womanhood goes missing, her body later found in the depths of the sea, her death a mystery. Two men accused of a murder, arrested but later released due to lack of evidence. Strangers who happened to be on the same island at the time, who had only a few brief interactions with the deceased, yet their lives are changed forever. Decades later, a chance encounter
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Saint X is the story about a family of four who goes on their annual Christmastime holiday to a tropical destination and return to their lives in New York City with only three members. More particularly . . . .

What is known about the night Alison disappeared: At approximately 8 p.m. she met the blond boy by the swimming pool, a fact confirmed by an elderly security guard named Harold Moses. They went to the staff parking lot and
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Claire’s older sister, Alison, disappears while on vacation on the stunning island of Saint X. Her body is found a few days later, and two men are charged. There’s not enough evidence to hold the men, so they are let go. The murder remains unsolved afterwards.

Claire is now an adult living in NYC when she crosses paths with Clive Richardson, one of the suspects in her sister’s murder. From then on, Claire decides she has to know the truth, and she is determined to get it from Clive. In the
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dennis by:
Alexis Schaitkin, bravo.

What a stunning, atmospheric, debut novel! I am shocked that Saint X is the first venutre for Schaitkin in storytelling, because this book clearly is written by someone who knows what they're doing! The synopsis provides probably too much of the narrative, but Saint X is a story about family, about privilege, and about grief. This book starts off with the death of college student Alison while vacation on fictional island Saint X (think Jamaica)—changing the lives of
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.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
[3.5] Saint X pulled me in immediately. It opens with a privileged family's Caribbean vacation that turns nightmarish when Alison, the college-aged daughter, is found dead. Unfortunately, most of the novel, about Alison's sister's search for "the truth" feels as languid as a beach vacation. I often fell asleep while reading it - but I was intrigued enough to keep coming back to it.

The dense, middle pages are filled with memories and backstory about Alison and veer into a character study of
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am well on my way to reading everything Reese Witherspoon recommends.
I just finished reading Saint X, by author Alexis Schaitkin

This book started off very intriguing for me, and was a good book from start to finish
The storyline was well written, and the characters all complex, and interesting
It did seem a bit long for me particularly about mid point, however I did thoroughly enjoy it

I would rate it 3.5 stars, and was a superb debut novel

Thank you to NetGalley, Celadon Books, and the author for an early copy, in exchange for my honest review!

#SaintX #NetGalley
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, disappears during
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For this family, a vacation at a tropic island called Saint X changes their lives forever when the older daughter Alison is found dead. This isn't just a murder mystery but a deep look into the lives of this family. Mainly the youngest daughter Claire who was only seven when her sister died. Years later Claire runs into one of the men suspected of killing Alison. This sets Claire on a quest for answers. The book is over descriptive and drawn out at times. Don't let that distract you. This is a ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
(rounded up!)

Claire’s life is defined by a vacation when she was a young girl and her sister was murdered, found in the bottom of a lagoon on a small island near their resort. As an adult, Claire has moved away from home to NYC where she has tried creating a life for herself. However, when she takes a cab one day and realizes it’s the gentleman accused (and proclaimed innocent) of her sister’s murder, Clive, her entire world comes crashing down. Claire alters her entire existence to find out
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
What happened to Alison? Well I won't give any of the story away. You have to read Saint X To get your answer. You are going to fly though this one. Schaitkin has really given us a very engrossing read. You won't want to put it down.
4 stars from this reader.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, death, fiction, crime, family
At the age of 7 Claire and her family go on vacation to a resort in the Caribbean island called Saint X. On the last day of Vacation Claire's 18 year old sister Alison goes missing. Her body ends up being found and nobody is charged with the murder.

This story had chapters written in 3rd person which was hard to read when I prefer first person. I did enjoy some of the back story on the characters and enjoyed these chapters very much. I found the book a little long for what it was about and I had
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars
I’ve been seeing widely differing reviews pop up here and there so I thought I’d go ahead and share my thoughts so you can decide if you’d like to add it to your tbr:)
I actually read/listened to this last month and had pretty strong opinions when I finished. On paper this should be a book that worked for me, a Caribbean setting with a murder mystery as the backdrop along with a little bit of coming of age and obsession on the part of the sister who survived. However, this didn’t at all
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

This is an incredible debut novel by Alexis Schaitkin, a master storyteller. Schaitkin weaved successfully the multiple point of views in telling this story, a deeply harrowing story of how people’s lives were affected by a mysterious death of a young woman vacationing with her family in the Caribbean Island of Saint X.

The story centers around Claire who was only seven at the time when her sister Alison disappeared and days later was found dead. Two men were
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Audiobook is fantastic! Thank you Librofm!
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.
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to my partner Celadon Books for the gorgeous book! This is about a college freshman who goes missing while the family is on vacation at an island resort. The obvious suspects are detained and released, and eventually the case turns into an unresolved tragedy

Claire, the deceased's younger sister, finds herself in NYC as an adult and becomes unhealthily obsessed with the case and a man who may have been involved. Will she get her closure? Will any of them?

The book is so much more than a
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 ...more
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Bookish First Rea...: Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin 4 16 Dec 01, 2019 05:52PM  

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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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