Review: Mathilda Savitch

June 1, 2011 Whitney Review 1 Comment

Review: Mathilda SavitchMathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato
Published by Picador on March 5, 2010
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Bought

Fear doesn't come naturally to Mathilda Savitch. She prefers to look right at the things nobody else can bear to mention: for example, the fact that her beloved older sister is dead, pushed in front of a train by a man still on the loose. Her grief-stricken parents have basically been sleepwalking ever since, and it is Mathilda's sworn mission to shock them back to life. Her strategy? Being bad.

Mathilda decides she's going to figure out what lies behind the catastrophe. She starts sleuthing through her sister's most secret possessions—e-mails, clothes, notebooks, whatever her determination and craftiness can ferret out. But she must risk a great deal—in fact, she has to leave behind everything she loves—in order to discover the truth.

Startling, funny, touching, odd, truthful, page-turning, and, in the end, heartbreaking, Mathilda Savitch is an extraordinary debut.

The novel is well paced and Mathilda is a fun lively character, parading around the house in her dead sister’s clothes and amidst it all, dealing with the dreaded puberty.  Despite her attempts at being bad, the author, Victor Lodato, shows the innocence and naivety as 9/11 takes place during all this chaos with Mathilda not understanding why her parents were crying while watching t.v. or the significance of her best friend’s brother being over seas.  Although, throughout her experience Mathilda grows up with eyes wide open and discovers just how cruel and secretive real life truly is.


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