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March 31, 2019


#Shortlist Kerry Group Irish Novel of 2019

by NancyElin


Experiment  is a success!

  1. This is the first time I have committed to a shortlist
  2. …and finished it!
  3. I needed a kick-start to keep up my reading momentum
  4. …after 3 weeks #ReadingIreland19
  5. I find that seeing the image of the books on every review
  6. keeps me focused to write a few thoughts and move
  7. on to the next book as soon as possible.
  8. Yesterday I read the last book.
  9. Kerry Group Best Irish Novel 2019
  10. …announcement on 29 May 2019.
  11. Travelling In A Strange LandD. Park – READ #ReadingIrelandMonth19
  12. A Ladder To The SkyJohn Boyne – READ #ReadingIrelandMonth19
  13. The Cruelty MenEmer Martin – READ #ReadingIrelandMonth19
  14. Normal PeopleSally Rooney – READING #ReadingIrelandMonth19


Shortlisted books:  read 5/5


  1. Care worker Maud Drennan is assigned a  difficult client
  2. Cathal Flood…he is a hoarder.
  3. Maud finds herself knee-deep in hoarded junk and intrigue.
  4. What exactly happened to Flood’s wife years before?
  5. Why is Maud haunted by practically every saint
  6. …dishing out some fairly useless advice!



  1. It’s part Gothic murder mystery, part ghost story.
  2. Strong point: humor
  3. I loved the character of Renata (Maud’s partner in crime).
  4. Saints, Dynphna, Valentine  Rita, George, Monica, Raphael  are cleverly
  5. mixed into the narrative with their quirks and sanctity.
  6. Cats that lounge around Mr Flood’s home
  7. …are all named after  writers:
  8. Hemingway – rousing meow with half an ear
  9. Beckett – sightly bored, flicks question marks with his tail
  10. Dame Cartland – sociable Perian with matted rear-end
  11. Burroughs – dour, sneaky, hisses suspiciously in corners
  12. Strong point:  figurative language
  13. Kidd uses many references to maggots, toads trapdoor spiders
  14. cobwebs, earwigs to give the story an ultimate ‘jick-factor’
  15. The Gothic house we read…
  16. “the overgrown steps…ivy peels back from the doorframe sucker by sucker”
  17. Strong point:  similes….compares 2 different items
  18. the room “….like being inside a wedding cake…
  19. …froths of white and gold voile and sofas, plump crescents
  20. …of white leather.”
  21. Emotion:  This is the STRONGEST point of The Hoarder
  22. Kidd makes her characters people that you care about.
  23. Renata, landlady  who emerges each day as Maud walks by her door
  24. “…like a New Age Butterfly from her ground-floor cocoon”
  25. Renata is a life guide for Maud.
  26. She oozes charm in an eccentric way!


Last thoughts:

  1. If you are looking for an engaging, light read
  2. that is riotously funny...this is your book!
  3. I’m looking forward to reading more books
  4. by  Jess Kidd!


Read more from fiction, Ireland

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