Started and finished the book “Nathanial” by John Saul last night/this morning.  What a big disappointment.  If this had been the first book I read of his, I would never read another.  Absolute yuck on every level – it makes me mad that I wasted my time reading it.

The story is about a pregnant woman and her child who go live with her husband’s folks when her husband has a fatal accident.  When she gets to the small town, everything seems so wonderful at first but she is painfully slow to realize that all is not what it should be.  Most all the babies born to the family seem to die in childbirth due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around their necks.  They pass it off as a curse and have a story to go along with the curse.

One child though is saved and hidden away in a barn where he lives and grows up for 20 years of his life.  The child is kept hidden because if the father knew the child lived, he would have killed it as it was a result of an affair his wife had had.  The boy learns to be telepathic and swears vengeance on the family. 

Obvious problems are why, if they always had so many babies die in childbirth, wouldn’t they only have their babies at a hospital? Two, it would be a statistical anomaly for all the babies to die the same way when three different women were involved – thus, someone had to be killing the babies when they were first-born.  Why have the same people in the room each time? All three women are sure their babies were born alive.

The whole book is anticlimactic and full of stupid things that had it been set in the 1800’s one might forgive – but it wasn’t.   I don’t know – don’t think I’ll be reading more Saul’s for a while.


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