Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

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In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal.

Published: Septermber 1st 2016

Genre: Poetry, Fiction, Magical Realism

Pages: 114

Format: Physical

Rating: Try It

Read from 30th Sep to 2nd Oct


So this is a book that reflects on death, grief and morning. It follows a father and his two sons that have just lost their wife and mum. Enter Crow; a character to replace the mother and to represent the help that a family need to get back on track.

This book is written more like a play in terms of having acts and the characters have their own monologues throughout. It is less focussed around a story and more a central theme that they deal with. The idea is that the Crow is their councillor and helps the Dad work through his problems while trying to keep the boys in check.

It is a representation of what happens to those left behind. The struggles, the change in life and routine, what is held on to, and what effect grief has on each party.

We never really get to know anything, we don’t know the names, how the wife died, the time period, and everything is very abstract.

It is more a style of poetry but I was happy to read it even though I’m not the biggest fan of poems and tend to avoid it but this does feel close enough to a story to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

It’s such a short book and if you’re looking for something different then you should go for it and pick it up.

Till Next Time.

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