Mr. Flood's last resort A novel
Book - 2018
Presents the tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder who tackle notions of forgiveness, independence, sainthood, duty, and connections before dark family secrets are brought to light, revealing the sinister fate of a missing local schoolgirl.
Bridlemere, in West London, is a house filled with secrets, lost souls, mountains of hoarded rubbish, dozens of cats, and one cantankerous old man. No government caseworker has been able to prevail over the eccentric Cathal Flood and his haunted estate; even the agency's "geriatric whisperer" lasted only three days. That is, until his case is assigned to Maud Drennan. Undaunted by Flood's harsh peculiarities, Maud arms herself with bleach and traverses Flood's wall of National Geographic magazines in search of clues. Bridlemere holds the secrets of Flood's lost family, with treasures and ghostly spirits standing on guard. Surrounded by filth and the supernatural, Maud forges a bond with Flood that's very real. When their friendship comes to a tragic end, Maud realizes she must return to reality and finally confront the secrets of her own past. Kidd's (Himself, 2017) compelling second novel weaves love, betrayal, and forgiveness with humor, mystery, and a bit of magic. This absorbing mix of paranormal tragedy and heartfelt triumph will appeal to a broad swath of readers. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.Review by Library Journal Reviews
In this follow-up to her attention-grabbing debut, Himself, Kidd introduces us to widower Cathal Flood, who lives alone in a stuffed-to-the-rafters gothic mansion and resists his son's efforts to move him to an old age home. He has an ally in caretaker Maud, but family secrets and the long-ago case of a missing schoolgirl could upend everything. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
The gothic plot of this murder mystery (following Himself) about an Irish caregiver and her client, a cantankerous, widowed hoarder, boasts Kidd's darkly comic sensibility, atmospheric writing, and colorful characters. Maud Drennan has lasted longer than the "geriatric whisperer brought in at great expense from a better agency" to assist Cathal Flood, whose historic West London house is bursting at the seams. If she can't make both presentable, Cathal's estranged son will move him into a home. Maud also begins investigating Cathal's wife Mary's death: did Mary actually tumble down the stairs, or is Cathal a modern Bluebeard, hiding bodies behind the Great Wall of National Geographics? What Maud uncovers in the course of her increasingly dangerous efforts may prove that true. Suspicious, agoraphobic landlady Renata injects a nice dose of absurdity to the tale. Less successful is a subplot about Maud's childhood. Still, there are plenty of twists and perilous turns to keep the narrative moving. Kidd's novel features a winning combination of descriptive writing, black humor, and biting dialogue. (May) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.
Presents the tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder who tackle notions of forgiveness, independence, sainthood, duty, and connections before dark family secrets are brought to light, revealing the sinister fate of a missing local schoolgirl.Review by Publisher Summary 2
The award-winning author of Himself presents the tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder who tackle respective notions of forgiveness, independence, sainthood, duty and connections before dark family secrets are brought to light, revealing the sinister fate of a missing local schoolgirl.Review by Publisher Summary 3
Note to readers: In the UK, this book is published under the title The Hoarder.From the award-winning author of Himself, the spellbinding tale of a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets.'A magically entertaining read'Jess Kidd has a gift for creating characters you'll love with a few cleverly chosen words.' 'Good Housekeeping (UK), Book of the Month'A rare delight.' 'Cosmopolitan (UK)Maud Drennan is a dedicated caregiver whose sunny disposition masks a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her haunted, in the company of a cast of prattling saints who pop in and out of her life like tourists. Other than visiting her agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps to herself, finding solace in her work and in her humble existence'until she meets Mr. Flood.Cathal Flood is a menace by all accounts. The lone occupant of a Gothic mansion crawling with feral cats, he has been waging war against his son's attempts to put him into an old-age home and sent his last caretaker running for the madhouse. But Maud is this impossible man's last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he just might be able to stay. So the unlikely pair begins to cooperate, bonding over their shared love of Irish folktales and mutual dislike of Mr. Flood's overbearing son.Still, shadows are growing in the cluttered corners of the mansion, hinting at buried family secrets, and reminding Maud that she doesn't really know this man at all. When the forgotten case of a missing schoolgirl comes to light, she starts poking around, and a full-steam search for answers begins. Packed with eccentric charms, twisted comedy, and a whole lot of heart, Mr. Flood's Last Resort is a mesmerizing tale that examines the space between sin and sainthood, reminding us that often the most meaningful forgiveness that we can offer is to ourselves.