I'm Ready Now
Following the death of her husband, Lynne Gleeson travels from her grand ancestral Hobart home to visit her son Gordon in Sydney. Lynne’s alone for the first time in her life and has big plans, but does she have the courage to see them through? Meanwhile Gordon, emotionally isolated and lost in his Year of Living Ridiculously, is determined to find stimulation wherever he can, regardless of the consequences. But will Gordon’s last adventure prove too much for the people who love him? I’m Ready Now is a contemporary exploration of family, intimacy and loss that navigates an intricate course between the places that you leave behind and the places that call out to you.
Published by Blemish Books, 2012, ISBN 9780980755688
A powerful yet gentle narrative that grabs you and holds you till the end
Nigel Featherstone builds tension and mystery around his characters’ behaviour without undermining their realness or humanity, and without alienating readers. We warm to them even while we wonder about the wisdom of their decisions and motivations Besides the characterisation, I also like the novella’s voice and structure. It’s told first-person in the alternating voices of Lynne and Gordon, and is effectively paced, largely through varying the lengths of the chapters. I’m Ready Now is about living imaginatively and about liberation, but it is also about how the past can stall us if we don’t get it in the right perspective. One of Featherstone’s two epigraphs is TS Eliot’s ‘Home is where one starts from’. That says it all.
I’m Ready Now is masterful in its execution. This is not high impact, flashy narrative. It doesn’t need to be. So delicately does Featherstone introduce the nuances of his characters and the incidents in their lives that – despite their simplicity – you are drawn in, eager to learn how these flawed and real characters fare. It doesn’t end in a walloping climax or the decisive nature of a bullet but with a simple yet life-changing decision. This is a perfect companion to Featherstone’s previous novella, Fall on Me, and both prove the man has a commanding grip on the form.