Mr. Flood's Last Resort (Hardcover)
The trouble with some books is that there just isn't a great elevator speech for them. I've been telling everyone with ears about this book ever since I started (and finished) it about a month ago, and there is just too much to tell. Sure, it's about Maud Drennan, who is the caretaker to the titular Mr. Flood, an curmudgeonly octogenarian with a fiery temper and hoarder characteristics. And yes, Maud has good reason to believe that Mr. Flood probably killed his wife a decade ago, and possibly this missing girl from about 50 years ago. And Maud herself has issues in her own past that mirror her current surroundings in an uncomfortable way. But that doesn't do the story any justice; it doesn't point out her transgender, agoraphobic landlady, the way that the house has a personality of it's own, the dozens of cats that permeate the pages, or the saints that appear to help Maud along (or to simply chime in from the sidelines; saints aren't always helpful when investigating murders). It doesn't help define how the writing is so beautifully mystical without relying on these things to carry the plot along. And it definitely doesn't explain the urge the reader gets while trying to turn the pages faster and faster to determine the who, what, and why of the story.— Kris Stephens
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.