Review: Grief is the Thing With Feathers – Max Porter

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Grief is the Thing with FeathersSynopsis: 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.

I’m going to be honest here, I normally wouldn’t have picked up this book. It’s not something that I’d usually choose to read, but it was the Book of the Month at Waterstones (where I work) so I kind of half had to in order to be able to talk to it to customers…


I didn’t expect to like it at all, but with it only being about 115 pages long, it didn’t take long to get through.

So first, a bit of background info. It’s based around Ted Hughes’ poems “Crow”, and when you open the book, it looks like poetry too. Only, it’s much more than that… it’s sort of a mixture between poetry and prose. It has the storytelling of standard prose, with the rhythm and layout of poetry. It just reads so beautifully.

Considering the subject matter, and more obviously, the title of the book itself, you would assume it to be a little bit morbid and sad. It’s not. Well, it is a teeeeeeny bit, but I’d say it’s more along the lines of having moments of poignancy whilst remaining warm and reassuring, and surprisingly at times, funny too. There’s a little bit of dark humour mixed in there and for 115 pages, there are a hell of a lot of different emotions to be feeling.

It’s sweetly simple, yet deeply complex all at the same time, and sure does give you a fair bit to think about. Even a couple of weeks after reading, I still find my mind wandering back to it.

I 100% reccommend, especially for anyone looking for something quick and different just to pick up.

View Grief is the Thing With Feathers on Goodreads



4 thoughts on “Review: Grief is the Thing With Feathers – Max Porter

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