Dex works as a gardener for Dr Jefferson at his home on Hexam Place in Pimlico: an exclusive street inhabited by the rich, and serviced by the not so rich. The hired help, a motley assortment of au pairs, drivers, and cleaners, decide to form the St Zita Society (Zita was the patron saint of domestic servants) as an excuse to meet at the pub and air their grievances. When Dex is invited to one of these meetings, the others find that he is a strange man, ill at ease with human beings... and then they discover he has recently been released from a hospital for the criminally insane, where he was incarcerated for attempting to kill his mother.
Dex's most meaningful relationship seems to be with his mobile-phone service provider, Peach, and he interprets the text messages he receives from the company as a reassuring sign that there is some kind of god who will protect him - and give him instructions about ridding the world of evil spirits....
©2012 Ruth Rendell (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I am so sad to say that I am once again disappointed by the latest offering from Ruth Rendell once one of my favourite crime writers. I persevered with this for old times sake but it definitely was not worth the effort. Stereotyped characters and far too many of them - I lost track of who was who. Poor dialogue and plot and an extremely tedious listen. If you want to hear classic Rendell listen to the early Wexford novels.
Wife, mother, reader. Preferred genres include psychological fact and fiction, comedy and (auto)biography.
This is the second time that I've listened to this particular audiobook, although the first time was when I reviewed the cumbersome eight disc CD package, so thank goodness for Audible! The story is classic Rendell: ergo a London setting and a series of characters with a myriad of secrets. This novel is set in upmarket Belgravia and concerns the lives of the householders and servants of Hexham Place, the latter of whom convene a servants' union, The Saint Zita Society of the title.
The narration is lively and varied; the characters really come alive. Recommended.
I was impressed both by the quality of the writing and of the performance of the narrator. Ruth Rendell of course is rightly known for her novels, Carole Boyd is perhaps less well known but she is an extremely talented and versatile actor and does a fine job with the diverse characters in 'The Saint Zita Society'. I loved the tyrannical, soi-disant princess who was so well understood by her 'not-a-servant' and I relished the general bizarreness of the rest of the characters, whether 'upstairs' or 'downstairs'. So well done, Ruth Rendell and Carole Boyd. Carole, hope you get a fabulous review in the Borchester Echo. (BBC 'The Archers' related joke.)
Oddly enough it reminds me of Paul Gallico's 'Jennie' where the animals and their people are all so beautifully described, especially the peculiar crew of the 'Countess of Greenock'.
Love Carole Boyd, she is so versatile and has a wonderful ear for accents.
I enjoyed the reading of this book, I enjoyed the story, but all of the time I kept asking, "Who killed the young boys?" This question was a red herring that in my understanding was never answered.
However, the reading of the tale passed a really enjoyable 8 hours!
Cartoon-like characters, rather silly ending, enough plot to keep you reading but neither a great who-dun-it nor a great story. Can see why it was in the sale!
I am a Ruth Rendell fan and i was looking forward to this book. It left me disappointed and I am not even entirely sure why. She introduced lots of colorful characters and yet they did remain remote and inaccessible. There are no surprises in the plot, no mystery, no unexpected turn of events - what happens is predictable.
I have recently read an earlier Ruth Rendell book : Adam and Eve and Pinch Me. I enjoyed it. It was clever, interesting, and full of colorful characters who you became to know intimately. In many ways the Saint Zita Society seems to be a less successful remake of this earlier book - just a handful of new people, a new location....
"Well read but disappointing!"
The ending is unsatisfying and very disappointing
re written the ending.
Not really - there are thousands of better listens!
Yes, I have read many by R,R. Expected it to be better, but it was ok as is.
Yes she did.
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