Tethered: A Novella-In-Flash by Ross Jeffery
"Tethered is a novella-in-flash that explores the fractured relationship of a father and son. Each story is told with unflinching and honest prose that is both hard hitting and heartrending. These stories delve into themes of toxic masculinity, love, hope, despair, domestic violence, sexuality, weakness and overcoming oppression.
Tethered also asks the bigger question of 'do we ever escape the harm our parents do to us; or do we go through life marred and influenced from our upbringing.
'‘Ross Jeffery’s flash fiction is immediate, visceral and real. To read his stories is to feel the understanding of a life lived through the eyes of a compassionate man. Always unapologetic, always raw, always true.’ - Adam Lock (Author of Dinosaur)"
I was really unprepared for this book. I had recently read Juniper also by Ross Jeffery and had an absolute blast reading about life in a small American nowhere town after a terrible turn of events. It was a brilliant horror tale with elements of very dark comedy.
But Tethered is very far from this, it's so heart wrenching and beautifully written.
We follow a troubled father and son journey as they navigate through life, told through a series of flash fiction. It's a brilliant portrayal of a troubled father and son relationship. and the affect it has on both sides. Does anyone escape unharmed from their childhood. Is there such a thing as a perfect parent.
Unfortunately the answers to both these questions is no. But at times this book holds some very tender moments. They never seem to get things right but there is a lot of love for each other even though it gets lost through misunderstandings and anger.
We have the father, who loves his son deeply the moment he is born. He wants the best for his most cherished child, to teach his son how to be a real man, yet he too has been a victim of a troubled upbringing fuelled by toxic masculinity. As the story unfurls we see how all too easily the cycle repeats, the same hurts re-emerging with each generation.
He wants to be a good father but he is powerless in changing himself and healing his old hurts.
I loved the ending the ending to this book, it's a powerful ending the story deserved. An absolute must read for all parents and children!