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Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
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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 has russet hair. She is lithe, athletic, and is seemingly self assured. Her "moodiness carries a whiff of moral judgement...newer still is this sighing dismissiveness ." Eleven years her junior, Claire has placed Allison on a pedestal. Allison plays volleyball, Claire watches. She takes a walk,"...silently Claire follows her...she does not know how to 'buddy up' for a week". Claire has a compulsion. "...I would hear a word, and it would feel absolutely necessary to write it in the air...".

Two resort workers, in particular, serve the family poolside food and drinks. Edwin is a skinny chatterbox while Clive, aka Gogo, is heavyset and clutzy. They are good friends. Allison flirts with Edwin, Gogo as well as a blond haired college boy. Nightly, she sneaks out of the room she shares with Claire. Tomorrow, the family will head back to New York. Allison wants her last night to be memorable.

Word spreads through Indigo Bay, "Did you hear? The pretty girl with the auburn hair is missing?" According to Claire, "I thought...that [Allison] was playing an elaborate game with us...it was not Allison's disappearance but my parents' terror that terrified me." The island police, creating a timeline of Allison's disappearance, focus on Edwin and Gogo, the last ones seen with her. Evidence is insufficient. Within a few days, Allison's body is found in the cay. Her mysterious death might go unsolved.

Life needed to go on. "The victims of tragedies almost always depart, sooner or later. Everybody in our small suburbs knew what had happened to us." We made people "uncomfortable" wherever we went. The Thomas family moved to Pasadena, California. Claire decided, from that day on, she would go by her middle name, Emily. "If Allison had not died 'there was another life I might have been living, in which I was not Emily of Pasadena, but Claire." Would Claire ever be able to "channel" Allison, a sister she was "barely old enough to know?"

In "Saint X", debut author Alexis Schaitkin creates a Caribbean island to be visited by affluent vacationers. "How can people be willing to live in a place...[with] the perpetual potential for destruction...[by hurricane]?" A case of the haves vs. the have-nots! "The people...[are] simply very friendly. It is their culture, the warm and open way of people on a small island." Author Schaitkin's writing style masterfully evokes the "feel" of an island resort.

Is Allison knowable? Different voices and different perspectives, especially Claire's, show us a college student outwardly groomed for success, but perhaps inwardly, not so much. Although the novel is a little bogged down in descriptive passages, it was an excellent read. I look forward to reading future works by Alexis Schaitkin.

Thank you Celadon Books for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

October 22, 2019 – Started Reading
October 22, 2019 – Shelved
October 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Deanna (new) - added it

Deanna Great review, Fran!!


message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro Fab review, Fran!


Fran Deanna wrote: "Great review, Fran!!"

Thank you, Deanna!🌹😍


Fran Kevin wrote: "Fab review, Fran!"

Thank you, Kevin!👍


message 5: by Libby (new) - added it

Libby Riveting review, Fran!


Fran Libby wrote: "Riveting review, Fran!"

Thank you so much, Libby!


message 7: by Susanne (new) - added it

Susanne  Strong Wow Fran! This sounds fabulous! Great review. :)


Fran Susanne wrote: "Wow Fran! This sounds fabulous! Great review. :)"

Thank you , my lovely Susanne!😍


message 9: by Cheri (new)

Cheri Wonderful review, Fran, I think this is the second, or maybe third review of this I've read, and all have varying ratings. Still contemplating this one!


message 10: by Fran (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fran Cheri wrote: "Wonderful review, Fran, I think this is the second, or maybe third review of this I've read, and all have varying ratings. Still contemplating this one!"

Cheri...so many choices of reading material...you'll find the next right fit!💕😍


message 11: by Julie (new)

Julie Awesome review, Fran!! 💖✨😊


message 12: by Fran (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fran Julie wrote: "Awesome review, Fran!! 💖✨😊"

Thank you so much, Miss Julie!😍💕


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