Grief is the Thing with Feathers is a novel about grief, about a widower who in his desperation creates an imaginary compagnon: Crow. Grief is one of the most beautiful, one of the finest reflections on grief I’ve ever read (it comes second to Emily Dickinson’s After Great Pain A Formal Feeling Comes). It is poetic, painful, desperate, wry. It is also an almost nerdy writer’s novel. Crow is based on a series of poems written by Ted Hughes after the suicide of his first wife Sylvia Plath. The widower is a Hughes fan. If you’ve never heard of Hughes and / or Sylvia PLath the link to the poet and the crow does not really make sense. I must admit that whilst reading I could only guess that Hughes had written poems about a crow, I did not know the poems until I looked for them on the internet. They are deeply sad and black poems.
Do you feel like reading a novel that perfectly describes grief? Do you want to read a novel that almost feels like a long poem? Are you willing to accept that a grief-stricken widower needs a crow to get him through an extremely difficult time? Do read Grief. Are you looking for action and do imaginary crows make no sense at all to you, just let it be. I relished every word on the mere 114 pages.