A family is left bereft after the death of a mother; two small boys face a future with no joy and their father, a poet and scholar sees only a hollow life populated with well-meaning people. Into this emptiness comes the crow. He threatens to stay until they no longer need him, acting as a focus for their grief and becoming part of the family as healer and babysitter. With the crow as their antagonist, tormenting as much as assisting them, the physical effects of their loss slowly ebb away.
‘The life and song of their mother. Unfinished. Beautiful. Everything’
Porter’s mix of styles and short punchy text make this a fast read, but it is raw, spiky and emotional. It is cleverly done, especially writing about such an emotive subject as death. It is told from three perspectives, the father, the boys and the crow and he even manages to inject a little humour into the prose, whilst capturing the highs and very deep lows of anguish at their loss. 3.5 stars overall.