Mr. Flood’s Last Resort by Jess Kidd #BookReview #LiteraryFiction #MysteryThriller #MagicalRealism
Jess Kidd’s Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is one of those books that make you feel all the emotional highs and lows. A story of a cantankerous old man whose eccentric hoarding ways and belligerent attitude had run off many a caretaker except Maud and Maud herself understanding trauma and vowing to never give up on the miserly old man come what may. One can laugh, one can cry, one can feel the warmth, the pain of loneliness, the joy of giving, the utter despair of being lied to and cheated, the fun in the simple pleasures of life even to the extent of choking back tears with equal parts happiness and equal parts sadness. The whole gamut of emotions captured by the author thru this extraordinary tale of magical realism and literary fiction with the additional impetus of a mystery tugging it along, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is sheer brilliance.
Maud and Cathal form an uneasy alliance, and the house called Bridelemer becomes as much a character in the story seeing the vast amount of things dumped into it especially a wall of National Geographic, The author’s words flow leisurely so much that it was easy to lose oneself into Maud’s shoes and imagine them. Cathal Flood was definitely an unlikeable character, to begin with, but like Maud, the reader begins to see beyond that grumpy front that he shows to the world. By the end, I had to wipe away tears, especially with the scenes in the hospital. The saints popping in and out of Maud’s life offers a kind of magical vibe to the story and as Maud with the much loved Renata egging her on, takes on the mystery of Mary’s death and a missing daughter, there is much unraveling to be done before the puzzle pieces begin to make some sense.
Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is a book to be read with amble time in hands, as the story takes its time to grip the reader, and as each character including the popping up whenever it pleases them, Saints, also in the picture, it does feel a bit crowded initially but once the story sets its pace and characters become more precise, the story becomes such a compelling read that it becomes hard to even let go for even a second.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
From the award-winning author of Himself comes a spellbinding and “magically entertaining read” (Good Housekeeping, UK) about a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets that “will appeal to fans of Tana French and Sophie Hannah, as it charms and unsettles in equal measure” (BookPage).
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.
Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is “a rare delight” ( Cosmopolitan, UK) examining the space between sin and sainthood, a novel that “perfectly balances tragedy with dark comedy” in which “the dialogue crackles and every detail enchants” (Shelf Awareness).