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. Ack! Sounds like an Iain Banks… not a big fan, sorry :/

    Hope you’ll like it though 🙂

  2. Wow! Very dramatic and tragic. I think I’d keep reading. I hope you can stop by:



  3. A creepy sounding October choice 🙂 I’d read more.

  4. Wow, intense! The blurb sounds very appealing, too. I’d keep reading.

  5. Wow. Yes, I’d keep going.

  6. 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.

    1. It really is. I am now is small village Ireland with some very quirky characters. I just don’t know who is good,or bad yet.

  7. I don’t think I’d be able to put the book down — really intense, though. Here’s the link to my Tuesday intro and teaser: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-1i9

    1. It’s very intense. Then gets darkly funny. It’s hard to do that I think so all due respect to Jess Kidd. I hope it continues.

  8. Yikes! That’s a terrifying opening! I’m not sure if I’d be able to keep reading because I’d be concerned about the baby.
    My Tuesday post features ARE YOU THERE, ERMA? IT’S ME, GAYLE.

    1. It isn’t the opening I was expecting but it hasn’t put me off and it does get lighter…at least so far!

  9. Good grief, Emma, that’s a bit dark! But I really need to know what happens next! So yes, I’d have to keep reading.

    1. Isn’t it. Yet after the prologue it gets darkly funny.

      1. That’s a relief! Looking forward to your review on this one 🙂

  10. This does sound good! I want to know what comes next! I am glad you are enjoying this one so far. Thanks for sharing!

    1. So far definitely so good. Not what I expected but I am still enjoying it.

  11. 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:)

    1. I know. Not what I was expecting with the opening but I am still finding it compelling and it’s not gruesome at all so far.

      1. Well – that’s a relief, anyhow. Hope you go on enjoying it, Emma!

  12. 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.

    1. It is dark but also funny. The characters are really quirky. Plus lots of ghosts.

  13. Wow – that paragraph is so compelling. I want to read more so I can find out what happens to the mother and the baby.

    1. Isn’t it. So far I have no idea why it happened, though small minds seem to be playing into it!

  14. This book is new to me Emma but it sounds very good indeed – have so many questions after that opening!!

    1. 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.

  15. 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!

    1. It’s a hard one given the opening lines but the early violence so far has been replaced with dark humour and odd characters. Still it makes an impact.

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