Mathilda Savitch by VICTOR LODATO
A Novel

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A fiercely funny and touching debut novel about a young girl trying to find out the truth behind her sister's death

I have a sister who died. Did I tell you this already? I did but you don't remember, you didn't understand the code . . . She died a year ago, but in my mind sometimes it's five minutes. In the morning sometimes it hasn't even happened yet. For a second I'm confused, but then it all comes back. It happens again.

Fear doesn't come naturally to Mathilda Savitch. She prefers to look right at the things nobody else can bring themselves 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. More troubling, she begins to apply some of her older sister's magical charisma and powers of seduction to the unraveling situations around her. In a storyline that thrums with hints of ancient myth, Mathilda has to risk a great deal--in fact, has to leave behind everything she loves--in order to discover the truth.

Mathilda Savitch bursts with unforgettably imagined details: impossible crushes, devastating humiliations, the way you can hate and love your family at the same moment, the times when you and your best friend are so weak with laughter that you can't breathe. Startling, funny, touching, odd, truthful, page-turning, and, in the end, heartbreaking, Mathilda Savitch is an extraordinary debut. Once you make the acquaintance of Mathilda Savitch, you will never forget her.



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Victor Lodato is a poet and playwright. A 2002–2003 Guggenheim Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Southern Review, North American Review, Northwest Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. In 1998, he received the Emily Clark Balch Prize in Poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review. Victor has also won numerous awards for his plays, including one from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, and New York City. Cassandra Campbell has recorded nearly two hundred audiobooks and directed many more. She has been nominated for and won multiple Audie Awards, as well as the prestigious Odyssey Award. She has received numerous starred audio reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal as well as fourteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. Cassandra was also named a Best Voice by AudioFile for 2009 and 2010.
Published March 5, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mathilda Savitch

The Guardian

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Having said that, his version of the story as a trap in which a character senses they are being "Watched" is one of the freshest since Vonnegut's in Slaughterhouse-Five, whose ideas about childhood and death Lodato clearly owes a debt to.

Mar 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Mathilda Savitch: A Novel

The Globe and Mail

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Victor Lodato novel about a 12-year-old girl perfectly captures the inner turmoil of being lost between child and adult

Sep 26 2009 | Read Full Review of Mathilda Savitch: A Novel

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