Immagine dell'autore.

Jess Kidd

Autore di Things in Jars

7+ opere 2,492 membri 131 recensioni 2 preferito


Comprende il nome: Jess Kidd (author)

Fonte dell'immagine: Jess Kidd


Opere di Jess Kidd

Things in Jars (2019) 978 copie
Himself (2016) 572 copie
The Hoarder (2017) 531 copie
The Night Ship (2022) 396 copie

Opere correlate

The Haunting Season: Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights (2021) — Collaboratore — 202 copie
The Winter Spirits: Ghostly Tales for Festive Nights (2023) — Collaboratore — 64 copie


Informazioni generali

Data di nascita
Luogo di nascita
Richmond, Surrey, England, UK
Luogo di residenza
London, England, UK
Open University
Attività lavorative
creative writing teacher
Susan Armstrong (C+W)
Breve biografia
Jess completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University after leaving college to have her daughter. She continued to work and study part-time, finally gaining a PhD in the field of creative writing studies. Jess’s dissertation focused on the ways in which disparate modes and genres can be brought into correspondence to create new hybrid forms in crime fiction. Her research covered several key crime fiction and magical realist texts, along with the work of John Millington Synge and Dylan Thomas. Jess has taught creative writing at undergraduate level and to adult learners. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury, a PA to a Rector, and an administrator at a local community centre.

Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in London with her daughter.



We follow Detective Bridie Devine as she searches for a missing child. but finds so much more than she bargained for. Bridie is no stranger to the seedy underworld of Victorian London. As an accomplished detective with medical training, she sometimes helps the police by examining bodies to determine the cause of death. Bridie recently had failed to find a lost child, so when she’s approached about another missing child, this one not just ANY lost child but the daughter of Sir Edmund Berwick. She isn’t really enthusiastic about taking on the case. However, Christabel Berwick is no ordinary child. Sir Edmund has hidden Christabel away her whole life but yet wants Bridie to believe that this is just an ordinary kidnapping. Bridie starts asking questions and learns that Christabel isn’t so much Sir Edmund's daughter but much more like his "prized procession". He fully believes that Christabel is a “merrow,” which is a darker version of a mermaid. Bridie of course, is skeptical, but there are reports that Christabel has some strange characteristics like sharp teeth, color-changing eyes, and the ability to drown people on dry land. Bridie is without some "strange" herself as newest companion is a ghost who refuses to tell her why he’s following her around. There’s a lot going on in this story and it's NOT PRETTY! London in Birdies time is soaked with mud and blood, and her own past is a nightmare at best. The author, Jess Kidd is an expert at giving us a supernatural mood that any ghost or merrow would be happy to call home... and her human villains would not be the exception. The story has so much detail and so many clever characters. I think Bridie deserves her own series of oh maybe a hundred or so books. This one is creepy, dark, and sometimes violent...but what an adventure!… (altro)
Carol420 | 43 altre recensioni | May 8, 2024 |
What an amazing, cool, well-written book that fits so many different genres. It was loaned to me by a friend who read it quickly; I had to take it in batches because the panoramas that the language paints are so very rich and full. This story has an Irish waif grown to adulthood on the streets of London; well-to-do families of physicians; Victorian carnivals and their creatures; and an undercurrent of both malice and wonder.

The book opens with Bridie (Brigit) Devine in her widow's cap approached by a well-muscled ghost with tattoos who encounters her in a church graveyard. Bridie is not enamored of Ruby, though she is curious about him, especially because she is investigating the skeletons/corpses of a woman and her child, both with very sharp teeth and other strange anomalies, walled up in the church basement.

Who Bridie is becomes part of the story in chapters that start 20 years before, where she is an orphan from 1840's pre-Famine Ireland taken in by her Gan while he introduces her to anatomy and studies of the human form. The adult Bridie walks the streets of London with her pipe and her mind and her memories, and assisting in the recovery of a very strange, missing child that seems to be more myth than real.

The missing child is the daughter of Sir Edmund and the playfellow of Dr. Harbin, who was sent to hire her for the search. But things are not as they seem, and her new-found friend (and ghost) Ruby is assisting her in her efforts even if no one else can see him. Or his various tattoos that shift and move and communicate his thoughts without words.

There are some cautions in this tale: death is very prevalent, and there is an incident of animal cruelty as well as Victorian operating procedures pre-anesthesia. Most of them take place in the household were Bridie is raised, that of prominent physician Dr. Eames and his psychopathic (also well-described) wife and son, during the Before passages.

How this tale is woven, how language is used, and Bridie herself are quite memorable and it is definitely a book I am glad I read.
… (altro)
threadnsong | 43 altre recensioni | Apr 28, 2024 |
This is a dual timeline historical fiction based around the true events of the 1700s Batavia shipwreck and mutiny off the Western Australian coast. The first story involves Mayken, a 9 year old Dutch girl, on her way to Batavia in 1628, to live with her father after the death of her mother. The second storyline features lonely 9 year old boy Gil who is taken to the Abrolhos Islands 300 years later to live with his crusty old grandfather Joss, a cray fisherman, after his mother has passed away.

I have always been intrigued by the story about the Batavia, which was shipwrecked in 1629, on the Abrolhos Islands, while on its maiden voyage to Batavia (Jakarta). The ship was commanded by two men: upper merchant, Francisco Pelsaert and skipper Ariaen Jacobsz, both of whom already hated each other prior to the voyage. Mutiny was brewing prior to the fatal shipwreck. After running aground many of the passengers were offloaded onto small islands nearby, others had to be left on the ship and were drowned. Francisco Pelsaert made the decision to take a group of 48 people in an open long boat and make their way 3,200km to Batavia to get help. Amazingly this was successful, but by the time the rescue boat returned the remote islands had turned into a scene of brutal massacre and carnage. Jeronimus Cornelisz, the Under merchant, took charge, and with a group of thugs set themselves up on Batavia’s Graveyard (now Beacon Island) and began to systematically eliminate the survivors, including the children, to reduce competition for food and the chance of being hung for mutiny if the rescue ship returned. Some of the women were kept alive as sex slaves. Cornelisz and his men disarmed and marooned the loyalist soldiers in the group on nearby West Wallabi island. Instead of perishing, this group found water, and under the leadership of Wiebbe Haijes, withstood attacks on them, and were able to intercept the rescue ship Sardam first and tell their version of the gruesome events. Pelsaert executed Cornelisz and some of the mutineers on the islands, two men were left on the coast of Western Australia, and the rest sailed to Batavia. Of the original 341 ship inhabitants only 122 made it back to Batavia with at least 125 having been murdered on the Abrolhos, others having drowned or perished.

Jess Kidd’s version is beautifully written and atmospheric but some of the events are lost in the childish recount of the story. I felt too much time was spent following Mayken’s search for an eel monster, the Bullebak, instead of helping us understand the mutiny and events. Gil faces a similar fearsome monster, the Bunyip, based on local Indigenous folklore. Both children face terrible tragedy and heartbreak. Gil is considered weird by the rough islanders and persecuted by both adults and children. His only solace is his pet tortoise Enkidu (named for the Gilgamesh epic).

This was a well-written atmospheric story but probably got itself overly caught up with monster stories, which may not have been entirely necessary given the monstrous reality actually occurring.
… (altro)
mimbza | 19 altre recensioni | Apr 7, 2024 |
I love Jess Kidd’s books . This one has the usual blend of folklore, mythology, history, horror and the supernatural (or is it.)If you know the story of the Batavia, you won’t go in expecting a walk in the park, and you certainly won’t get one. She makes you care about the two child protagonists and then deftly flips back and forth between the two tales. I saw others complaining about it, but I felt that it served to heighten the suspense. She subtly creates empathy for outcasts in all her books and leaves you hoping for a happy ending. Do you get one at all in this book…. Still thinking about it.… (altro)
cspiwak | 19 altre recensioni | Mar 6, 2024 |


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