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Mathilda Savitch
Victor Lodato
Adult Fiction LODATO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The first novel from poet and playwright Lodato is a stunning portrait of grief and youthful imagination. Narrator Mathilda Savitch is an adolescent girl negotiating life after the death of her older sister, Helene. Her parents, especially her alcoholic mother, are too traumatized to give her the comfort she needs, so she lives in an elaborate world of her own invented logic. Mathilda evaluates sex, religion and national tragedy in language that is constantly surprising, amusing and often heartbreaking. She speaks with the bold matter-of-factness of a child, but also reveals a deep understanding of life far beyond her years: "I wondered why god would unlock a door just to show you emptiness," she says. "It made me wonder if maybe he was in cahoots with infinity." Lodato chooses every word with extreme care; Mathilda's observations read like a finely crafted epic poem, whose themes and imagery paint an intricate map of her inner life. She's a metaphysical Holden Caulfield for the terrifying present day. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Mathilda is rebelling against everything and making up her own version of reality, hoping to come upon something more meaningful and less painful than the world in which she lives. Along with her parents, this intelligent and hyper-imaginative young teenager is trying to come to grips with the death of her older sister a year earlier. Presented in a first-person, present-tense onslaught of conversations, fantasies, and confrontations, the novel follows Mathilda as she begins the new school year and immediately gets into trouble with the principal. Later, she invites friends to her house for an all-night survival exercise in her basement, since this a world in which sisters incomprehensibly die and terrorists attack. Mathilda carries on a personal investigation of her sister's life, hacking into the sister's former email account and messaging a boy she figureds was involved with her sister. Verdict Engaging and humorous yet grappling with serious issues, this novel details a girl's distorted view of events and the people around her. The treatment is mature and literary, but this title could almost be a YA novel. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]-Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. Lib. at Oneonta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mathilda Savitch
Age: Teenager
Struggling with the death of her older sister who was pushed in front of a train by an unknown man; her alcoholic mother is too traumatized to comfort Mathilda; lives in her own imagination; feels her life is dull; discovers her sister had a secret life.

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