Happy New Year (sorry, I know it’s two weeks too late!)
I picked this book up on a whim recently; intrigued by the title. Grief is the thing with feathers is Max Porter’s debut novel and winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize. The story follows a Dad and his boys struggling to come to terms with the death of their Mum. At their lowest ebb, Crow appears…
Written like short poems and stories (of sorts), the narrative flits between the thoughts of ‘Dad’, ‘Boys’ and ‘Crow'(the one sent to ‘save’ them). Some parts I found easier to grasp than others. I found the descriptions of them coping entirely believable- the boys retreating into play, the Dad struggling to find his stride faced with the monumental task of raising two boys alone- but there were also times where I got completely lost, particularly when the Crow was talking. It’s not comfortable, it’s visceral, at times almost unbearably sad (as you would expect), covering all bases of grief. The best part? In my opinion, the very powerful last two pages.
Usually I know instantly how I feel about a book. For this one, I need to go back and have a proper think. Worth a read, but prioritise A monster calls (5/5- easy), which I feel deals with the themes of death and grief superbly.