A lick of night: Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

grief is the thing with feathersI plucked one feather from my hood and left it on his forehead, for, his, head.

For a souvenir, for a warning, for a lick of night in the morning.

For a little break in the mourning.

Grief and its expression is something I’m fascinated by, partly to do with my Masters project research and partly to do with my own inner workings, the cogs that turn in their own way and make me who I am. This little novella, almost prose poem, is just beautiful. Porter describes a family of three, dad and two boys, dealing with the sudden death of their wife and mother. They are visited by a crow who says, Mary Poppins style, he will stay until the mourning is done.

Skipping lightly through time and over the hearts of its three characters, this is a beautiful read. Sad, darkly funny, full of depth despite its shortness. It describes a process of remembering, forgetting and eventually forgetting to remember that is so much of grief. The things that will never be finished, but at least they were started. I recommend this one, I’m glad to have it on my bookshelf.

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, Max Porter: five stars.

Read it: in an hour. Then read it again.

About Rachel Watts

I am a writer from Perth, Western Australia. My speculative fiction novella Survival will be released in early 2018. View all posts by Rachel Watts

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