Duck Feet by Ely Percy Book Review

I had the privilege of reading a proof copy of Duck Feet, and I was not disappointed. Duck Feet is a episodic novel, a coming of age novel, a working class novel, and a damn brave novel.

The story follows the life of Kirsty Campbell from the start of high school until she leaves in 6th year. Set in Renfrewshire, and told in the regional tongue, the reader is transported right to Kirsty’s doorstep. The short episodes delve into the trials and tribulations of working class teenage lives, with humour and frustration.

Me an Charlene wur in the school toilets at interval, doon daein a pee, an Charlene went intae a toilet where the plug hadnae been pult. Ay naw, she shoutet, Kirsty moan see this; she dragged me in behind her an pointet doon at this big jobby that some clat bag had abandoned, that wis noo bobbin up in doon the pan like a wee broon monkey.

Page 103

It’s the real mundanity of school life that make this book stand out and Ely has the gift of observation. They have highlighted issues such as ableism, racism, homophobia, bullying, teenage pregnancy and crime, and many more issues, but in a way that doesn’t seem forced They also highlight the little things that would have felt enormous for a teenager such as boy bands breaking up, periods, friendships, and first kisses.

Duck Feet is quite a long book, not one you’ll devour in one sitting, but it is a book that you can pick up and read between hoovering and making the dinner and I promise it’ll make you laugh. The book is quite heavy though, so lying on the couch for a read can be a bit of a work out, but thats one of the few things that I disliked.

The characters are fun, well fleshed out, and everyone had a Charlene in their life. It is a character driven novel, a delve into the ordinary where even the most irritating characters are lovable. Something shocking happens near to the end of the book, I thought it was arresting, well managed and probably the reason I’ll remember this novel for a long time.

Finally, from an Edinburgh lass, the dialect was a slow starter for me, not because it didn’t work or that it was badly written, it was just hard to get the voice in my head. But dialect is the reason that the character are so real, and it was brave to write the full novel in that way.

Over all, I loved it.

You can find out more about Duck Feet and where and when to buy it on http://www.elypercy.com.

A Moment

timelapse and greyscale photography of woman
Photo by Luanna Cabral on Pexels.com

A Moment

I remember her sitting there,
Long amber hair, and a chair with wheels
The colour of the sea.

I remember sitting there,
Daring her to care, wishing her eyes
Would fall from the sky into mine.

But we just sat there,
I paid my fair, while she looked for mermaid
Shapes in the clouds.

Yet as I sat there,
Listening to the whistle tear a note
Into the station
She looked, she smiled, and we shared,
A moment.

And I sat there, and she sat there,
A pair, connected.
Then the train rumbled out of the station
To somewhere.

©EilidhGClark

This poem ‘A Moment,’ was been selected to be part of the Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival, ‘Passing Time.’  This is an exhibition of Poetry on the station platforms of Renfrewshire. This particular poem was displayed in Johnstone station.  For more information about the exhibition, click here.

Lochwinnoch Platform Renfrewshire

I  mentioned some time ago (2017), that one of my poems was selected to appear at two railway stations as part of the Renfrewshire metal health festival Scotland. A few days ago, I got along to see it displayed. I hope it moved some people, or just passed a minute while they waited at the station. A fresh batch of poems will go up in May.