I’m Ready Now is the second of three novellas by Nigel Featherstone published by Blemish Books. I reviewed the first, Fall On Me, last year and I’ve now read all three (I read the third, The Beach Volcano, before starting this website, but hope to revisit it in a future post). Each novella is self-contained with its own plot and characters, but there are thematic linkages between them, along with an intimate engagement with the domestic that allows for the exploration of large themes within small worlds. I’m Ready Now follows Gordon, a gay man living in Sydney, and his mother, Lynne, who’s flying in from Hobart following the death of her husband—Gordon’s stepdad.
The mother-son relationship between Gordon and Lynne is not a close one, and we sense early on that their pending reunion is tinged with both tenderness and a desire not to intrude too closely upon each other. This particular kind of family relationship is one that I’ve not seen often explored in literature, and it was wonderful to read such a deft treatment of it in this book. Featherstone weaves the first-person narration of Gordon and Lynne into a coherent whole, allowing us to see the distances and differences between them as their worlds come together in Gordon’s small house in Glebe.