“ ‘I want to be awful. I want to do awful things and why not?’ So says the young heroine of Mathilda Savitch, Victor Lodato’s fierce and funny debut novel. What makes this coming-of-age story so compelling is the tough, furtively loving voice of its narrator, who keeps her friends at arm’s length even as she holds them in her heart.”

– O Magazine (The Oprah Magazine)

“Funny and provocative.”

– The Boston Globe

“This is a delight and a devil of a book, a tale that fills you with despair and pleasure—often at the same time.”

Leigh Newman, Time Out New York

“There cannot be a recent portrait of downbeat, defiant adolescence that is as convincing as that of Lodato's eponymous anti-heroine … Witty and bold, Mathilda forms a teasing, conspiratorial relationship with the reader … The joy of this book is not so much the plot as its spot-on realisation of the wilfulness, pitiless boredom and entrancing nature of girlhood, the aching question of ‘What will happen, who will you become?’ ”

Catherine Taylor, The Guardian (London)

A phenomenal debut. Not since Sebold's Susie Salmon (The Lovely Bones) has there been a young woman whose attitude towards death and its effect on the living had such potential for beguiling readers of all ages. Lodato indelibly captures the fragile vulnerability and fearless bravado of adolescence through Mathilda's impeccable voice, one that rages with alienation, frustration, and confusion as much as it aches with hope, wonder, and desire. 

Booklist (starred review)

“Compulsively readable .. this portrait of a damaged but hopeful girl stands up to classics like Walter Tevis’ Queen’s Gambit (1983) … Both mature adolescents and adult readers will find much to love in Lodato’s remarkable creation.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Have you met Mathilda? If not, prepare to be – in equal measures – charmed and haunted. Because once you get this precocious teen’s sad, sharp voice in your head, it’s hard to get it out … a darkly humorous, aching tale of adolescence.”

Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor

“A joyous addition to a dynasty of sharp-tongued fictional teens that stretches back to Holden Caulfield.”

The Financial Times (UK)

“Mathilda is a startlingly successful invention: intellectually innovative and oblique—as only the young can be—pumped with resolve ... ludic, fierce, unremitting. Lodato reaches beyond the mere showing-off of ventriloquism, connecting his heroine's hormonal storminess to America's endless adolescence.”

The Observer (UK)

“Mathilda Savitch is a hilarious, self-deprecating, and outrageously open-hearted creation—an oracle struggling to understand her own proclamations. Mathilda’s cluelessness and brilliance are captured in a language so true, it will make you feel like you are right back in the madness and squalor that is the schoolyard. And you will be forced to confront, once again, the truth that all adolescents grapple with, that the lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum.”

Heather O’Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals

"Engaging and humorous yet grappling with serious issues."

Library Journal (starred review)

Mathilda Savitch

Order this book at:


Home | Mathilda Savitch | Bio | Plays | News & Events| Contact
© Victor Lodato - 2016