Grief is the thing with Feathers by Max Porter

Prepare to have your heart-strings tugged at, friends. This one is totes emosh. Grief is the thing with Feathers by first-time novelist Max Porter may just be the best thing I’ll read this year, or maybe in the next five years. I rarely cry, and almost never over films or books, but THIS, dear readers, is the book to trample over even the most cold of hearts and send tears running down cheeks. Unlike A Little Life and other mournful tomes released last year, however, this one is short and you’ll wish it had lasted a little longer by the time it’s through.

Told from three perspectives – a father, his sons, and a crow – the story begins shortly after the death of a beloved wife and mother. Sniffing out the fresh grief and emptiness that has swamped this now mother-less abode, as it might some hot chips in a rubbish bin, a big black crow enters the boys’ house and makes itself at home. That is, for as long as the three of them need him there. The poetic nature of Porter’s writing is almost therapeutic and, at the very least, utterly captivating. Please, do yourself a favour: devour this story whole.

[Faber & Faber, 2016]

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