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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Saint X

1. What does the island setting contribute to the story? What about the juxtaposition of New York City?

2. What do you think Claire’s habit of writing words in the air with her finger demonstrates about her?

3. What’s the symbolism of Faraway Cay and the woman with hooves for feet? What does that mythology add to the story?

4. Why do you think the author chose to intersperse the voices of minor characters, such as the movie actor and other vacationers, throughout the book? What effect does this achieve?

5. What does Claire’s name change to Emily signify to you?

6. Did you ever think Clive might pose a threat to Emily when he found out who she was?

7. What does Clive’s nickname Gogo indicate about his personality? About Edwin’s?

8. Emily’s world in New York becomes very small after she encounters Clive. Do you think that was intentional or unintentional on her part? What might have motivated her to turn inward?

9. What do Alison’s recorded diary entries reveal to Emily? Was Emily right to listen to them, or do you think it was an invasion of privacy? What about their mom?

10. What are the similarities between Emily’s life in New York and Clive’s? What are the differences?

11. What do you think about Edwin’s relationship with Sara?

12. Alison witnessed a pivotal moment in Clive and Edwin’s relationship. How did that shape the rest of the narrative --- Clive and Edwin’s relationship, their futures, Alison’s tragedy?

13. When Emily learns the truth, and remembers the night before Alison disappeared, what do you think is her primary emotion? Grief? Relief? Guilt? Something else?

14. Do you think Emily coming into Clive’s life was ultimately a bad thing or a good thing for Clive?

Saint X
by Alexis Schaitkin