Review Blog

Mar 12 2020

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

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Picador, 2020. ISBN: 9781529014273. 329pp.
(Age: Adult - Adolescent) This is an interesting novel told through more than one voice, and from a differing focus, as Alexis Schaitkin takes us through many years of wondering why and how a young woman on a Caribbean island may have died many years ago. The voices are different, and we realise that each is telling what is known to them, or just what they will reveal, some wondering, puzzled and still, many years later, very interested in just what happened to Alison.
There were many who believed that she was murdered, but the police could not arrest anyone, having insufficient evidence as to the truth of the stories that they were told by those who may have been involved in her death. Was it an accident or was she deliberately killed and, if so, why? We are left to ponder this question throughout our reading of the novel and we learn much about her family, friends, and acquaintances as the stories are told, some in the first person and others in the third person. The language is lyrical at times and clearly descriptive of the place and time, Schaitkin drawing us into the narrative and holding our attention.
This is a novel that is appropriate for both adult and adolescent readers, its language richly descriptive, its narrative both complex and enigmatic, its focus both challenging and absorbing.
Elizabeth Bondar

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