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Lucy, St Helen and St Katharine

Saint Death

Saint Death is a beautiful and gripping read and constantly puts you on the edge of your seat. It is set in Anapra, which is like a single leaf, in the magnificent tree of Mexico; it lies just at the edge of the border that separates Mexico and America. As years pass, Anapra begins to wither and crumble, along with all the people in it. Arturo is a sixteen year old boy living in Anapra. In the book Arturo has a rough time in the early stages of his life; he has a job at an auto shop in Anapra, which has such a small salary that he can barely afford to feed himself. The small town he lives in is mostly run by the drug cartels and dealers, the social hierarchy of the town is shaped around the constant image of fear, always lurking in the back of people’s minds. People in the town know and were raised to be wary of the criminals in the town. If they get on the wrong side of them, they have no hope whatsoever. Arturo is just about surviving, when Faustino turns up after a year. Arturo and Faustino are practically brothers. When Arturo finds out that Faustino needs him to risk his life for him, Arturo is terrified. He doesn’t know what could happen to him, but he knew what would happen to Faustino if he didn’t do this.
The story interweaves the lives of three characters: Eva, Faustino and Arturo. These three people experience adversity in different ways, which shapes their personalities and their actions. They all are desperate to get better lives for themselves and each other. They all have faith in Santa Muerte, they trust her although she tests their faith sometimes. The way in which Sedgwick portrays the character Saint Death is as a ruthless controller of everyone’s fate. She is fair, she can’t be cheated or tricked. Saint Death is the true ruler of this story. Faustino worships her, most of the drug cartels and gangs worship her, sometimes she is even worshipped by Arturo, but there are times where he doubts her. The most important part is: no one gets away from Santa Muerte. No one. Arturo finds that out far too late. The relationships between Faustino, Eva and Arturo’s father and Margarita are critical for Arturo. He feels he has been excluded and that he should have had a bigger part in these people’s lives.
It is a brilliantly written book about the amount of poverty and disorder there is in the world. Sedgwick has included some amazing language throughout the book which creates a strong sense of the desperation and fear of the people of Anapra. He has created a world in which even the strongest bonds break and the bravest people cower. The amount of wrong doing and foul play and trickery included in the story is countless. The world that these people live in is unbearable to imagine, let alone be in. When Sedgwick uses the present tense in the story he makes it seem like the whole story is happening in real life. Arturo has very little luck in the book and when he needs it the most it is nowhere to be found.
Overall, Saint Death is a gripping read, but I would not recommend it to the faint hearted, it is not what you think it is. It is a hard book, but completely worth your while.

Posted on: 23rd April 2018 at 01:27 pm

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