**Spoiler Alert** “He tells her that he trusts her and she throws herself around him, enveloping him in feathers and bones.” Felix gets up, goes to work, spends his weekends drinking and dancing with his friend/ work colleague, Michael and repeats. After a traumatic childhood experience Felix is left with a dispassion for life. However his affinity for the sea is what sees him through his day-to-day routines. Featherbones is a story of childhood, guilt, grievances and sexuality. The narrative invites an array of avian metaphors, the biggest of which is revealed to Felix towards the end of the novel. Felix’s biggest demons are his subconscious feelings. He looks back on aspects of his childhood; meeting Harriet and her horrific death by drowning, his counselling sessions with his father’s friend and the constant feeling of being different. He’s haunted by dreams of his school days and as a result his mental health is unstable. One point in the novel that struck me, were his two attempts to drop his phone from his balcony. To me this symbolises two particularly low moments in Felix’s life and is almost a metaphor for his own suicide; as if watching his phone drop to its demise will solidify his need to let go. Discussion about Felix’s lack of interest in women is a common subject between him and Michael. It is not entirely prevalent in the novel until he sleeps with Angela. His regret in having done so is a powerful moment at which point his grasp on reality drops and his connection to Michael takes on a new level. It isn’t until Felix visits his hometown and leaves Southampton for the first time since graduation that he starts to let go of his past. The catharsis of being told his nightmares were normal… read more →
Almond Press publish a variety of short stories, so I thought I’d take a look at some classical short stories that everyone should read.