Polished, sure-voiced, tense, like all the stories in Chris Power’s debut collection, ‘Above the Wedding’ takes the reader somewhere unexpected. A sensitive portrayal of the relationship between brothers Liam and Cameron – and of a forbidden gay relationship – the story encompasses myriad locations, moving through Brixton, Berlin, Nice, Acapulco, finally to an episode of epic drinking in Mexico City; an excruciating ten-day wedding, during which the male narrator realises he’s hopelessly in love with the groom. The story is brimming with stunning imagery, much of which is richly associative. The moon is a ‘severed head’. A sea-bed statue of the Virgin Mary, seen from a glass-bottomed boat, takes Liam back to the parish church of his youth. And the rabbits he awakes to at dawn after his drunken epiphany are symbolic of thwarted lust; with real love eternally elusive: ‘rabbits all around him, clinging to the grass with hunched intensity, their coats splashed with silver’.
First published in Mothers, Faber, 2018