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Saint X

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  276 ratings  ·  185 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
Expected publication: February 18th 2020 by Celadon Books
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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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
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
Chelsea Humphrey
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>

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

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

yikes.... 2.5 stars


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

Buddy read with the one and only Miranda Reads!

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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
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.
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
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
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.
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 ...more
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
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
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
Kelly  (UnshelvedEdition)
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
First and foremost I absolutely loved this book. I originally thought the synopsis gave away too much of the story but the book is about so much more than the back says. This debut novel has incredibly strong writing and whisks your mind away to beautiful island life.

I really enjoyed the perspective of the story as I felt I was getting a behind the scenes look into the life of a victim. I would classify this book as a slow building mystery and by the end, the truth about Alisons death ends up
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was interested in reading Saint X because the story reminded me of the real-life disappearance of Natalee Holloway when she was on vacation in Aruba back in 2005. I believe that Alexis Schaitkin must have been very influenced by this because there are many details in her book that mirror this tragedy. The Thomas family, from a wealthy Connecticut suburb, take a Christmas trip to the tropical island of Saint X. Alison, home from her first semester at Princeton and her 7-year old sister, Claire, ...more
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 involved, both directly and
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
Carlene Inspired
Jun 25, 2019 marked it as to-read
I am prepared to beg for an ARC of Saint X

Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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, ...more
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. This book
switterbug (Betsey)
Duality, our ghosts, inner conflicts, our animal selves vs. our noble spirit-—we understand these incongruities, because we live with the past pushing into our present lives. But where are its edges, ceiling, and boundaries? In Saint X, these concepts are intimately explored. Claire Thomas, a young woman in her early thirties is outwardly functioning and productive but suffered early trauma that prevents her from impair her life? That is what made this novel so uncanny and compelling. Not the “ ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a mystery told in a unique way. At least I thought so. We start out in the past, move to the present and then, at the end, go back to the past to wrap it all up. I loved the way the book started. The author wrote as if you are an observer, a bit of voyeur, looking down on what is happening. It was also wrapped up that way. The middle of the book, in the present, winds its way slowly through the mystery and inserts these super interesting, quick peeks into the bit players that make up the ...more
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 are
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Bookish First Rea...: Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin 4 7 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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