Things in Jars

A Novel
By: Jess Kidd
Narrated by: Jacqueline Milne
Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A January Book of the Month Pick 

“Miraculous and thrilling.... A few pages in and I was determined to read every word Jess Kidd has ever written.” (Diane Setterfield, number one New York Times best-selling author of Once Upon a River)

“An impossible wonder: A book for everyone, and yet somehow a book just for you.... A sumptuous tour of Victorian London, resurrected here with a vigor and vibrancy to rival The Crimson Petal and the White...Utterly magical.” (A.J. Finn, number one New York Times best-selling author of The Woman in the Window)

“A perfect mix of hilarity, the macabre, and a touch of romance, Things in Jars is ridiculously entertaining, all as it sneaks up and makes you feel things.... Simply: Jess Kidd is so good it isn’t fair.” (Erika Swyler, best-selling author of The Book of Speculation and Light from Other Stars)

In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery - perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation

Bridie Devine - female detective extraordinaire - is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: The kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery. 

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems. 

Blending darkness and light, history, and folklore, Things in Jars is a spell-binding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

©2020 Jess Kidd (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ummmm...no

I wanted to like this book. I tried to like this book. I just couldn’t get through it. Maybe it’s just me, but, it was confusing at times, I think it jumped around, I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on. Returned it. Narration was ok. I won’t go on to recommending or not. It’s a strange story, and I usually like strange stories, but, this one was too confusing for me.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Eh

Not my favorite by Jess Kidd.

I found Bridie & supporting characters to be really compelling, but the story was just too brutal and often gruesome for my taste.

The narrator was so so so good...until she spoke in (guess) a cockney accent. Dorcas/Mrs. Bibby in particular was atrocious and almost ruined the entire book. I wanted to bail every time she spoke, but managed to push through.

I like Jess Kidd’s writing, but this one took a turn into a dark place I never want to visit again.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Bridie Divine 💪

Such a different story - so refreshing! Intriguing and hilarious. Loved every moment. Narrator was brilliant.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful!

So well done. Mystery, longing, sadness, love, hate and so many other emotions. Well read also.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Not for those who swoon at the mention of blood.

The title was the hook that caught me. As children, my now deceased brother and I were fascinated by objects in jars of formaldehyde and would search for them in old museums. I have little interest in mystery novels. The narration of the first paragraph was so different and intriguing. Stories and dreams and memories interspersed holds the reader/listener tightly....for one would not want to miss even the most subtle information. Set in a world designed of dark and dangerous macabre. The setting itself is a character and unique as those who are named and nameless.

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Fantastic Read

Couldn't stop listening. Fantastic Story. The Macabre, the interaction of characters, best story i havenlistened to in a long time. You could actually picture the characters and it read like a movie.