- Publication Date: March 21, 2017
- Fiction, mystery, magic, ghosts, thriller, murder mystery, small town secrets and mysteries
- WARNING: This book has some mature themes but nothing too explicit.
“Blending strange kindnesses, casual violence and buried secrets: an unforgettable debut from a dark new voice in Irish fiction
When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the village’s lies.
His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.
Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.”
Himself was an unexpectedly interesting read. On Goodreads, it was categorized as “magical realism” and I thought that was the perfect word to describe the style of this story. Though I was definitely looking forward to the ghosts, I was surprised with how much more interesting and sometimes scarier the living were compared to the dead.
Though there are ghosts involved in Himself, Kidd does it in a way where the ghosts don’t necessarily distract that reader but instead add depths to the history and setting of the story. In many ways, most of the ghosts are more like the physical representations (or as physical as a ghost can be considered I guess) of the many secrets and guilts of the small town of Mulderrig that the main character Mahoney finds while searching for the truth behind his mother’s death than actual characters.
I also really unexpectedly like Kidd’s storytelling style. Usually, I’m not really a fan of the whole, switching back and forth between different times and locations. Though it did take a few chapters to get use to the back and forth in time periods and even the sometimes changing perspectives within a chapter, once I did get used to it, it almost felt lyrical, like listening to a talented storyteller, which Kidd proves herself to be.
Overall, if you want a mystery/thriller that has a bit of the supernatural but isn’t overpowered by it, I think Himself would be a great book to check out.
I received a copy of this book from the NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
What do you all think? Have you read Himself already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Weekend Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.