Mr. Flood’s Last ResortMr. Flood's Last Resort: A Novel by Jess Kidd
Published by Washington Square Press on March 12, 2019
Pages: 352
View Title on Goodreads
Bantering Books Rating: four-half-stars

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).

Bantering Books Review

4.5 stars

Jess Kidd and I, we just click. She’s my writer, and I’m her reader.

Don’t we all, as readers, have one or two authors who are ours? Whose every story is our kind of story? Whose every word nears literary perfection?

This is how I feel about Jess Kidd. To me, her stories are pure magic, and her words are enchanting and beautiful. It’s as if she writes perfectly for who I am as a reader.

And because she is my writer, Kidd’s second novel, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, is my kind of story: a charming, quirky, otherworldly mystery starring a grumpy hoarder and his gentle caretaker.

If you’ve never read Kidd, you should know that her novels cross genres. Her mysteries are rooted in magical realism and the supernatural, and they are cleverly written with more than a touch of whimsy. But don’t be fooled by their warm aura – Kidd’s stories are always edged sharply with a morbid and twisted darkness.

Such is the way of Mr. Flood. As much as it is a big-hearted, amusing tale of unlikely friendship, it’s also one of unsettling mystery and gruesome horror. But it’s this mix of the light with the dark, once again blended so deftly by Kidd, that makes the novel special.

I loved every enchanting, beautiful word of Mr. Flood’s Last Resort. And as Ms. Kidd’s reader, I look forward to all her magical stories to come.