Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter (2015) 114 p.


A father and his two young boys in London are bereft after their wife and mother’s unexpected death. In the “organisational fakery” of the days immediately following her death, they are paid a visit by the enigmatic trickster figure Crow, who has come to help them move forward – not move on, because as Crow says, moving on is for idiots. But move forward, puzzling out and understanding and coming to grips with their collective grief.

This is one of those Critically-Acclaimed-Books-of-the-Year which comes with blurbs from half the literary establishment plastered all over it. I can’t say I would have picked it off the shelf at a store if I hadn’t read what seems like a billion glowing reviews, but I certainly thought it was worth my time. Part novella, part prose poem; it’s very nice, very sweet, sometimes funny and sometimes moving. I may not have had the patience for it if it went much beyond its 114 pages, but as it stands, it’s a beautiful little book.