The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore (Book Summary)

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Jillian Slater lives with her boyfriend, Vince. Vince is also the owner of the restaurant where Jillian works.

While Vince was away for a business meeting, one day, Jillian received a call informing her that her father, Rafe, was dead. Even though she was unsure if it was the right thing to do, she flew to New Orleans.

When she arrived, she was greeted by Adella. Adella is just Olivia’s assistant. Olivia is Jillian’s grandmother, who showed no interest in having Jillian around. It turns out that Olivia didn’t know that Jillian was coming. Adella just invited her because she thought it would be the best.

Jillian was not happy with how things were in New Orleans. Olivia isn’t thrilled to see her, and Jillian finds it odd that Olivia is living in an old church along with other tenants. The other tenants are David, Caryn & Vida. David is a professor who is very friendly to Jillian. Caryn is a med student who’s always busy with her studies, and Vida is an old woman who’s always acting like her dead husband is alive.

On the first visit to New Orleans, Jillian stayed at an inn because she couldn’t imagine living in an old church with her estranged grandmother. She didn’t last long in New Orleans.

On her second visit, Jillian had no choice. She broke up with her boyfriend, Vince. She caught him cheating with another waiter. She left his loft and has taken away money from him. She doesn’t have any money while living with Vince because he manages the finances. Jillian flew to New Orleans and asked for help from Adella. Adella then referred Jillian to Olivia.

Jillian stayed at the old church since she didn’t have anywhere else to go. She is close to her mother, but she is more like a sister or friend. Her mother has boyfriends who have been better prioritized than Jillian.

Jillian and Olivia agreed that she’s staying a week until she can find a job and get on her own feet. She stayed for more than that week. Olivia advised that she could stay as long as she wanted. The room she is occupying is Rafe’s room (her father).

After a few days, Jillian got a job and a friend. She got a job as a waiter in a nearby cafe. She also got a friend named Stella, who she just randomly met while strolling.

During Jillian’s stay, there have been weird incidents in Saint Sans. Someone left a doll, a knife, and someone even tried hurting them – only Jillian and David got hurt. One afternoon while the police came over, Olivia revealed that she had lost money that used to be in a drawer. Adella looked accusingly at Jillian because Adella knew that Jillian had taken money from her ex-boyfriend. Jillian got offended, so she packed her bags, stormed out of Saint Sans, and went to Stella’s apartment.

When Jillian arrived at Stella’s, she was cleaning and wasn’t ready for an unexpected visitor, but she still welcomed Jillian. Stella had to go somewhere for a while, and Jillian took a shower in the meantime. When Jillian got out of the bathroom, something caught her eye – there was a photo of Rafe and Stella. While rummaging through Stella’s stuff, she arrived and tried explaining why she was with Rafe in a photograph. Stella admitted that they were in a relationship. To better understand the situation, Stella asked for Jillian to come with her to show her something.

Stella took Jillian to what looked like a storage room. She showed Jillian some news articles which revealed that Stella was the son of Mr. Nolan. This man committed suicide after Mr. Fontaine (Olivia’s husband / Jillian’s grandfather) tricked him and left him bankrupt. Stella has been plotting revenge for a long time. After telling Jillian the truth, he ordered the gigantic man named Crawley (who’s somehow retarded) to hit Jillian in the head. After a few times of refusal, Crawley finally obliged.

Meanwhile, in Saint Sans, everyone got worried because of how Jillian left them. When Vida heard that Jillian still has not come home (she was shocked since they were attacked), she finally started talking again. She told everyone that they would need ransom money to get Jillian, using the money she hid. They discovered that the cash Olivia lost, which they accused Jillian of stealing, had just been suppressed by Vida all this time. It made them worry even more, and it also made Adella very guilty.

The police have been looking for Jillian – led by Bully and Cal. Bully likes Jillian and has been a little obvious about it, while Cal secretly started liking her too. They started at the cafe and then proceeded to Stella’s apartment. They got a hold of Crawley and interrogated him. He’s the suspect for breaking into Saint Sans with a knife. It was hard to talk to him, but after a couple of questions, he could say Stella’s name.

No one was home, but they found Jillian’s shirt in the trashcan. One of them found a receipt for a storage room, and they tracked that down – and that’s where they found Jillian. She was severely hurt, but she’s alive. While in the ambulance, Jillian told Cal that it was Stella who killed her Dad.

Bully was in Saint Sans and was outside the old church when he was hit by Stella’s car.

It took weeks for Jillian to recover. Because Olivia got worried, she contacted Jillian’s mom, who was frantic and instructed that she wanted Jillian home as soon as she was fit to travel. When Jillian finally recovered, she discovered that Bully had been hit by Stella and was in critical condition. No one told her because they didn’t want her to worry.

Jillian visited Bully and prayed for him. It was a relief that he was slowly getting better despite the doctor’s advice of not getting their hopes up. In the end, he was able to get back to work.


The Ending: 

Jillian stayed at Saint Sans because she discovered that her mom had got another boyfriend when she was about to fly home. Her relationship with everyone, especially with Olivia, has dramatically improved.

Olivia decided to give away Nolan’s money to charity. Jillian offered to share her inheritance with Olivia (that inheritance was supposed to be Rafe’s).

Jillian enrolled in a cooking class, which was Olivia’s gift to her. She also started dating Cal (the policeman). She rejected Cal at first because she wasn’t ready for a relationship, but Cal patiently waited. He wrote a letter every month and gave it to the cemetery’s caretaker, asking him to give it to Jillian. He thought it would be a sign that Jillian was ready when she finally visited her Dad’s grave. When Jillian received the letters, she then texted Cal.

The End The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore.


List of Characters:

            • Jillian Slater – the main character
            • Vince – Jillian’s (ex) boyfriend
            • Rafe – Jillian’s father
            • Adella – Olivia’s assistant
            • Olivia – Jillian’s grandmother
            • David – tenant / a professor
            • Caryn – tenant / med student
            • Vida – tenant / old woman
            • Stella – seeking revenge / the killer
            • Mr. Nolan – Stella’s father
            • Mr. Fontaine – Olivia’s late husband
            • Crawley – hired by Stella
            • Bully – policeman
            • Cal – policeman
Purchase The Undoing of Saint Silvanus by Beth Moore via Amazon:

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Forever Winter

Just reading and writing my way out of this messy adult life! I have transitioned from having piles of notebooks stacked underneath my bed from writing on the internet and allowing people worldwide to read.

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