Monday, 8 October 2012

The St. Zita Society

Finished October 6
The St. Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

This stand-alone mystery is Rendell's latest. The plot revolves around the people who live on Hexam Place in London, primarily the servants. June, a long-serving retainer of one wealthy woman forms the St. Zita Society, a group encompassing the servants, to discuss issues that affect them. The group is loosely formed and lacks real purpose.
The plot here moves very slowly and the characters are the focus of the story. June, an elderly servant, of a similar age to her employer, who shows a certain level of familiarity with that employer. Henry the driver for a Lord, who is having a secret relationship with the lord's daughter, and with his wife. Montserrat, an au pair to the Still family, who does as little as possible, but assists Mrs. Still in her affair with an actor. Rabia, the nanny in the Still family, haunted by her own losses, overly attached to her charges. Jimmy, driver to a pediatrician, who begins to assert himself. Thea, boarder and unofficial servant to a gay couple, who also helps out their other boarder, an elderly woman. And, of great importance, Dex, a gardener with mental health issues, who thinks a god named Peach lives in his phone.
As the characters interact, we see the character flaws come to light.
Ending on an uncertainty, this novel leaves this reader unsatisfied.

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