I can’t tell you how much I love Jess Kidd’s books. Last year I’ve read The Hoarder and I was instantly shot in the heart (by the love arrow!)
Jess Kidd is immensely talented. She seeks the magic in the world. An otherworldly movement in the leaves, some distant footsteps when you think you’re alone in the building, sun shining a smile on an old statue’s face, a blink in an eye in painted glass- you seek these small things after getting familiar with her stories. The everyday objects start to have better meanings when she writes about them! I am not native English and it’s extremely challenging for me to define the feeling that Jess Kidd’s writing bursts in me, so I hope my blabbering makes sense guys!
Things in Jars, just as the Hoarder, have a quirky female heroine. Bridie Devine (a reference to being Divine?) is a determined woman, and a detective of Victorian times. She has supernatural abilities and sees a ghost called Ruby, as you soon discover – and this fantasy elements flow into the story as if they are historically accurate- they’re so natural. Bridie’s last case didn’t go as she expected but she gets a job from an aristocrat called Sir Edmund Berwick – his 6 year old daughter, Christobel has been kidnapped.
Bridie dives in to the case to only discover Christobel is not a normal child. The house is not a normal household, and there’s an uncanny atmosphere. What is wrong with the child? Why she was taken, and by whom? As the mystery surrounding Christobel and her disappearance resolves, and Bridie gets closer to finding her, we also read about her own past- which still reach out to haunt her.
Oh, the pain and sadness in this book and the beauty of it!
I just love the way Jess Kidd writes. Her imagination is rich and daring. The way she gives characters to everything is not found anywhere else!
Things in Jars is a symphony of all things sad, beautiful, fragile and forbidden in the same time. It’s out today, and you know I rarely, if not never, say this: please GO to the bookshop and BUY IT. Meet with Bridie and Ruby. You will not be disappointed.
thanks to Canongate for this wonderful copy.