Tuesday Intro: Himself

imageOnce again, I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, I’m reading Himself by Jess Kidd, a review copy I’ve been waiting ages to read. I’m only a few chapters in and so far the wait seems to have been worth it. Here’s what it’s about…

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.

And this is how it starts…


May 1950

His first blow: the girl made no noise, her dark eyes widened. She reeled a little as she bent and put the baby down. The man stood waiting.

She straightened up into his second blow, which knocked her to the ground. She fell awkwardly, with one leg crumpled beneath her. He dropped down with his knees either side of her, so that she would hardly see the light greening the trees if she looked up, but she didn’t look up. She turned her head to see her baby on the ground, with his face pale between the folds of the blanket. He’d kicked his tiny foot out, his toes all in a line like new peas in a pod. Because she couldn’t hold her son in her arms she tried to hold him with her eyes as she willed him to be quiet, to be saved.

What do you think – would you keep reading


Note: intro is from a proof copy


  1. What a gripping intro! And the synopsis makes me wonder about those villagers, who all sound really horrible and judgmental. I do want to know more! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.


  2. Eek! Noooo… don’t kill her with the baby just alongside… Call me all sorts of a wuss, but I think I’d hurriedly put it back on the shelf and look for something with aliens. However, I hope you really enjoy it, Emma:)


  3. I’d continue reading – sounds like a dark, and perhaps disturbing read. The kind of book you have to be in the right frame of mind for, and a good October read. I hope you enjoy, especially because you were keen to read.


    • I just loved the description when I requested it. I wasn’t sure what to expect and so far I’m enjoying it but have no idea where it is going – which is quite nice.


  4. Oh, trick question, right? : ) I’d read on because of the intriguing book jacket description (and because I’m a sucker for anything set in Ireland). Although, judging from only from the opening paragraphs it could be a book I generally wouldn’t gravitate towards.Looking forward to your review!


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