Amalia Gavea's Reviews > The Hoarder

The Hoarder by Jess Kidd
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‘’A dead mouse curled in a teacup, a headless ceramic dray horse, a mannequin’s pink severed limb: that sort of thing. I have a morbid bent. ‘’

It would be extremely useful if each one of us had a power squad of our favourite saints to talk to face-to-face every time we were in trouble. Mortals usually let us down and, honestly, no human being is as wise as a saint. So, Maud- our troubled heroine- can be considered lucky, right? Well, not quite...Her saints appear at some terribly uncomfortable moments and even though they are sassy and caring and vigilant, they cannot interfere. Heaven rules, you know. Besides, there’s very little to do when Maud finds herself involved in a case of disappeared children, dead wives, spirits, cats named after writers, guiding foxes and staring portraits. All these while she’s working as a care worker for a grumpy, foul-mouthed elderly man named Cathal Flood. Did I mention a tall, blond man with grey eyes? Because these are the definition of trouble…

Jess Kidd’s debut novel was the unique, hypnotizingly perfect Himself. Her sophomore novel is no less exciting. I know we all loved Himself and we anxiously waited for her next creation and I don’t think we were disappointed. The story is cleverly written in such a way that the past is constantly influencing the present without moving back and forth in time and thus it creates a narration where each piece of the puzzle is slowly collected until it takes its proper place on the board. Maud is our eyes in the story and her family past is no less troubling and dark than Cathal’s. Even though Kidd writes with elegant and sassy humor, the heart of the mystery and the essence of the two main characters’ lives are complex, mysterious, almost sinister. And the presence of death is as tense and inevitable as in Himself. Maud’s dreams are as gothic as they can get, foreboding and frightening, which is perfect. Obviously. In fact, I found The Hoarder to be significantly darker than Himself, both in terms of atmosphere and subject matter. And Himself was no walk in the park…

One of the things I adored in her debut novel was the Irish setting. Here, Kidd continues to pay homage to the magic of the Emerald Isle, albeit sparingly. The beauty of the Irish nature, the ferocious wilderness is reflected in Maud’s memories that are anything but nostalgic. The ghosts that aided Mahony have given their place to a glorious team of five saints. St Dymphna, the patron saint of mental illnesses and nervous disorders and an utter queen, St Valentine (who is as unsentimental as he can get), St Rita, St Monica and St George (who are innocent, melancholic and ready for battle, respectively). Bonus points for the Archangel Gabriel. These extraordinary figures are the ones who turn the novel from very good to brilliant, who make it an exciting, memorable read.

The characters are a major ingredient in the impact of The Hoarder. Renata is one of a kind, her personality a welcoming surprise. Cathal is a character we often meet in contemporary novels, the old man who shouts and swears and refuses any help, the one who’s misunderstood by all. Kidd uses these tropes to create a main character that stays with you throughout the story. The only problem I faced was Maud. She was nothing like Mahony, that's for sure. I found her flat, uninspiring, naive, rude and detached. She was persistent and brave, but not that sharpest knife in the drawer. Not to mention that her romantic aspirations irritated me to the high heavens. I think the depth of the story deserved a more interesting protagonist, but what do I know?

Nevertheless, a flat character cannot make me lower my rating in this case. One has to appreciate the fact that Kidd doesn’t resort to cliches nor does she attempt to cheapen or sweeten parts of the story. She writes with a distinctive style, with tenderness, sassiness, and confidence, a mixture that is very modern, very effective. Each book by her can only get better and better…

‘’I cry for those who can’t remember and those who can’t forget and those who are stuck somewhere in the fucking middle.’’

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 2, 2018 – Shelved
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: britain
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: british-literature
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: england
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: gothic-fiction
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: ireland
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: paranormal
September 2, 2018 – Shelved as: united-kingdom
September 2, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-35 of 35 (35 new)

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message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Love your review Amalia 😊


Marialyce I am anxious to read this one after your wonderful review, Amalia.


Giulia Was waiting to read your review of this one😊 and I totally agree with almost everything. Didn't love it like I loved Himself but it's a great novel nonetheless.


message 4: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Beautifully written review, Amalia!!


Phrynne Excellent review Amalia and I agree with every word of it. Himself is one of those really magical books which comes along only occasionally but The Hoarder is also definitely worth five stars.


Susanne  Strong Stellar review Amalia!


message 7: by Shaina (new) - added it

Shaina This looks and sounds morbidly fascinating !! Oh, Amalia you are so good.


message 8: by Shaina (new) - added it

Shaina Oh and I already had this on my tbr, but your review just dangles it in front of me and says, “Don’t forget about me!”


message 9: by Nat (new)

Nat K Another fab review Amalia! I love that St.Valentine is unsentimental (that is delicious irony).


message 10: by Beverly (new) - added it

Beverly Great review, as usual Amalia. I guess I should start with Himself with this author?


message 11: by Debra (new) - added it

Debra Awesome review, Amalia!


message 12: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Langford Wow! A brilliant review, Amalia!


Amalia Gavea Maddie wrote: "Beautiful review, Amalia xo"

Thank you so much, Maddie!


Amalia Gavea Maureen wrote: "Love your review Amalia 😊"

Thank you so much, Maureen!


Amalia Gavea Marialyce wrote: "I am anxious to read this one after your wonderful review, Amalia."

Thank you so much, Marialyce! I hope you'll enjoy it!


Amalia Gavea Giulia wrote: "Was waiting to read your review of this one😊 and I totally agree with almost everything. Didn't love it like I loved Himself but it's a great novel nonetheless."

Thank you so much, Giulia! I think the Irish setting and Mahony gave that distinctive impact in ''Himself'' whereas Maud was a rather average character. But ''The Hoarder'' is certainly worthy of 5 stars.


Amalia Gavea Julie wrote: "Beautifully written review, Amalia!!"

Thank you so much, Julie!


Amalia Gavea Phrynne wrote: "Excellent review Amalia and I agree with every word of it. Himself is one of those really magical books which comes along only occasionally but The Hoarder is also d..."

Thank you so much, Phrynne! I agree 100%. I don't think we'll come to witness another novel like ''Himself'' anytime soon.


Amalia Gavea Shaina wrote: "Oh and I already had this on my tbr, but your review just dangles it in front of me and says, “Don’t forget about me!”"

Hehe, I like that image, Shaina! Thank you so much! I believe you'll love it once you have the chance to read it:)


Amalia Gavea Nat wrote: "Another fab review Amalia! I love that St.Valentine is unsentimental (that is delicious irony)."

Thank you so much, Nat! The entire squad of saints is marvelous!


Amalia Gavea Beverly wrote: "Great review, as usual Amalia. I guess I should start with Himself with this author?"

Thank you so much, Beverly! Yes, I definitely recommend ''Himself'' as a starting point.


Amalia Gavea Debra wrote: "Awesome review, Amalia!"

Thank you so much, Debra!


Amalia Gavea Lucy wrote: "Wow! A brilliant review, Amalia!"

Thank you so much, Lucy!


message 24: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Excellent review , Amalia!


Amalia Gavea Angela M wrote: "Excellent review , Amalia!"

Thank you so much, Angela!


message 26: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly  B Wonderful review Amalia!


message 27: by Paula (new) - added it

Paula Kalin Sounds wonderful, Amalia. I still need to read Himself. Excellent review! Glad to see the 5 stars...


Amalia Gavea Holly wrote: "Wonderful review Amalia!"

Thank you so much, Holly!


Amalia Gavea Paula wrote: "Sounds wonderful, Amalia. I still need to read Himself. Excellent review! Glad to see the 5 stars..."

Thank you so much, Paula!! I definitely recommend ''Himself''. It is absolutely perfect :)😍


Diane S ☔ Wonderful review, Amalia. Love her books too.


Amalia Gavea Diane S ☔ wrote: "Wonderful review, Amalia. Love her books too."

Thank you so much, Diane! I can't wait to see what Kidd has in store for us readers. She is so so talented!


Jaline Excellent review, Amalia! I have been "hoarding" this on my eReader to read after a bad book, but I think I will just need to find a slot for this and dive in! Your review is so compelling, thank you! 💖


Amalia Gavea Jaline wrote: "Excellent review, Amalia! I have been "hoarding" this on my eReader to read after a bad book, but I think I will just need to find a slot for this and dive in! Your review is so compelling, thank y..."

Thank you so much, Jaline! I believe that you will enjoy this one. I can't wait for you to read it😍


Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー Gorgeous review, Amalia!


Amalia Gavea Jennifer (Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー) wrote: "Gorgeous review, Amalia!"

Thank you so much, Jennifer!


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