Some books are just meant to be discussed and Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin is one of them. It is a book club gem with so much to talk about. Celadon Books gifted the Traveling Sisters copies of this book club gem to read and discuss in our group. Overall we struggled with the wordiness of the book that distracted us from the story, however, by reading it in a group, each of us picked up on different things and brought them to the discussion. We started to see more insight into the story making this a fascinating and meaningful discussion. Now on to our review
Saint X is a detailed character study with a mystery layered in. It’s a slow burn and takes some patience here with just how wordy it is. The story is told through a few different characters with each bringing some details to the mystery. There is a bit of dancing around there and I struggled with keeping my reading groove going. For this busy reader, it slowed down the story for me and I lost some patience. I wasn’t sure what to pay attention to or not, however, the thing is every detail adds to the study of the character here. This is where our discussion became valuable as I picked up on some different things that I missed in the “dancing details”.
The real strength of the story here for me is the two settings used. The luxury resort adds complex and complicated dynamics here with the characters as themes of class, race and obsession are explored. I loved how that added tension to the serene atmosphere of the island. Now I have to admit I am getting a little tired with the whole “privilege” storylines out there that are starting to feel a bit stereotyped to me. Well here is in Saint X, Alexis Schaitkin takes a look through the setting of the beautiful and serene luxury resort, and we see “different people” brought together who are not so different but who are people living their lives. They are bonded together by a tragedy that takes place on the island and then they go back to living their daily lives as they deal with the tragedy in different ways.
The ending didn’t come together as well as I had hoped it would have with one of the reveals that felt it was used for shock value, however that was not how all the Traveling Sisters felt. For them, they didn’t see it as shock value. I suggest giving this a try and see where you fall with the ending. I especially recommend it for Group reads.
Emotionally-charged, descriptive & powerful!
SAINT X by ALEXIS SCHAITKIN is a slow burn psychological tale that often meanders. It has quite the interesting and fascinating premise though but didn’t always possess my full attention. I think this is my very first book that I found myself wanting to skim as I was getting a little impatient at getting to the climax of the novel. The pacing was extremely slow at times and I definitely got a little bit annoyed with all the extremely wordy and long passages. The writing in itself though was quite lyrical and beautiful but it wasn’t quite enough to make this a thrilling or exciting book for me to read. I was interested and engaged enough though that I needed to know how the story ended.
ALEXIS SCHAITKIN delivers quite the interesting character study, thought-provoking, powerful and well-written story here that had extremely long chapters, was a little bit overly descriptive and dense to make this a fully enjoyable novel for me. I think the author totally excelled with how exceptionally well-developed and portrayed these mostly unlikeable characters were though. I also thoroughly enjoyed the true crime atmosphere to the storyline and loved how we got an inside look into how all the pertinent characters were affected by this tragedy at the end of each chapter.
College student, Alison Thomas, is found dead after disappearing while on vacation with her parents at a prestigious tropical resort. Two employees of the resort are taken in for questioning but released due to lack of evidence. This story follows the aftermath of Alison’s death showing multiple characters’ perspectives of the impact Alison’s death held on them.
The flow and narration of this novel is extremely unique. I was intrigued by how this story was unfolding for the majority of the book, but closer to the end it became overdone and drawn out. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into multiple characters lives and views, however, I did find a lot of the detail to those side stories unnecessary and repetitive. The narrative became too wordy and overly descriptive which took away from my enjoyment. I did enjoy the feel of suspense throughout that kept me curious until the end.
Overall, I did enjoy the book and found it to be a unique reading experience, just not as gripping or impactful as I had hoped.
Cover: Love this beautiful cover!
Title: Intriguing, effective, and a fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, lyrical, beautiful, wordy, and overly descriptive.
Plot: Interesting, thought-provoking, emotional, powerful, meandering, and a little monotonous at times.
Ending: Hmmmm, I’m not exactly sure what I think of this ending. Did it give me all the answers? I think so. Did it satisfy me fully and do I really care? Not really.
Overall: I think there is definitely lots to talk about with this one and I think the reading experience would have been so much better if I had read this in a group environment. I think it would make a great book club book. Would recommend it!