Short & Sweet Audio Review: Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep by Michael Merriam
Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep by Michael Merriam
Publisher: Carina Press (November 10, 2010)
Memorable Quote: “They hated to watch another be in pain, but it was necessary for her to die in order to be reborn.”
Tiara’s Rating: 4 of 5 Stars. M A G I C A L!
Narrator: Cris Dukehart | Length: 1 hrs and 48 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Carina Press (December 9, 2010) | Whispersync Ready: Yes
In a war torn United States, people have regressed to a bartering system in order to trade goods such as jewelry, dye, and clothing. Grace Kriske is the crippled daughter of traders who has a fierce sense of independence and tries to help her family by making trinket and sewing/knitting other items to trade for good. Grace is an anomaly in her community, an outspoken woman who has no interest in kowtowing to the local religious leaders. Every year, though, a young man, sometimes a woman, is sent to the loons in the lake, chosen by a lottery. Every year, the last remaining loons hope to receive the one who will rebuild the world, the one who will bring their children back, and with it the world before it was war ravished. Being a sacrifice to the loons comes with grave consequences. Despite Grace’s disability, the loons call to her as they have for the past seven years of her life. While Grace is independent, she understands duty, and in her own selfish way she hopes the loons can fix not only her broken body but her broken soul.
I really enjoyed this story. There was so much going on despite the short length. It was nice to see a disabled protagonist whose disability is acknowledge, but she’s not made less for it (at least by the author). She has a lover who wants to give her so much more, but she sees herself only as a broken thing that couldn’t be the wife he needed. Her inability to walk has no bearing on his feelings for her, which was refreshing. She does the best she can and refuses help. While her family life isn’t fleshed out, you still catch glimpses of the family they are. They have their troubles, but they love one another. Life is just hard in their post-war era. This story in a way is a myth, combining many ideas and thoughts about swan, other water myths, women being the center of creation, and what they mean. Due to the war that isn’t fully explain (and that’s not an issue), readers learn how the religious orders have changed and desperation for the world to be fixed have made them more accepting of what they once might’ve called heretical. Cris Dukeheart did an excellent job giving this story a dreamy, mythical tone, a very beautiful narration with a twist of dark. This was a beautifully weaved story whose brevity doesn’t hurt it, but I wished it’d been longer.
– Features a protagonist with a disability in a positive light
– Beautifully mythic story where every word is used to its full extent
– Maybe be too brief for those who’d like more background
– Not a great fit for those who don’t like fairy tale like stories