Duck Feet by Ely Percy – book review
Duck Feet by Ely Percy reviewed by local councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes
First released in February of last year, Ely Percy’s Saltire Society Scotland Scottish Book of the Year, Duck Feet, is the coming-of-age story of local teenager Kirsty Campbell as she navigates her way through her time at Renfrew Grammar. Having been a teenage girl just a little earlier than our protagonist, there were parts of the story that made me cringe in excruciating recognition.
Written in the colloquial language that’s native to Renfrewshire, it details significant points in Kirsty’s development, her trials and relationships through her teen years. Dealing with everything from identity and growing up in a close community to addiction and teen pregnancy, Percy has written about the realities of working class life and those turbulent teenage years with sensitivity, honesty and humour. There’s also a wee element of magical realism that’s unexpected, but brilliant all the same.
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Duck Feet is a story full of heart; you will laugh, cry and cringe with Kirsty. If you are local, you’ll know the settings in your bones and will be promptly transported to them. A must read overall, but an absolute essential for those who went to a West of Scotland high school.
Kirsty and her peers’ stories may be theirs, but they feel a lot like like ours too.
Duck Feet is available now via Monstrous Regiment Publishing.