Review - Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A terrific read, bursting full with feelings

A Grief is the Thing with Feathers is the moving story of a widowed father and his sons after they lose their mother. It deals mostly with the huge amounts of grief that would follow such a situation but also has room for plenty of comic relief as well.

The family is visited by Crow, who takes on the role of caretaker and stays with them until the family are ready to ‘move on’, although the book does make the point of saying that ‘moving on’ doesn’t really happen in such a scenario.

Very much influenced by Ted Hughes book, Crow, the book is fairly short at 118 pages and falls somewhere between poetry and novelette. Ted Hughes is referenced throughout. As such I wish I had read that first before reading this. It’s one of the more unique books I’ve ever read.


The writing is unique and takes on different forms throughout. Here are some of my favourite parts:

You don’t know your origin tales, your biological truth (accident), your deaths (mosquito bites, mostly), your lives (denial, cheerfully).

I lie about how you died, I whispered to Mum. I would do the same, she whispered back.

Eugh, said Crow, you sound like a fridge magnet.

The terrible years of my life were stained crow.

The pain that is thrust upon us let no man slow or speed or fix.

A howling sorry which is yes which is thank you which is onwards.

Final thought

This was a great wee book jam packed with feelings and character, definitely worth checking out even if you’re not into poetry.



Post a Comment