comfort within uncomfortable endings
Although I am frustrated by how many questions and threads are left (un)”answerable” at the end of the book Xanther’s narrative did end up feeling “manageable.” For all of The Familiar’s experimentation, I believe I fully understand Xanther’s narrative and the convention(ality) of it. Does the kitten live? I adamantly believe so. Hopi dies, the cat will survive– so says convention. And even though many parts of the story are left teetering, there’s a balance to Xanther’s story. She, the girl who is always being cared for now is the caregiver and she takes great joy in it. The service dog, on the other hand, would have been another caregiver for her. It’s a beautifully simple plot. Of course it connects with the theme of ‘prey'(different than patient or needing care, but similar) which we see in other parts of the book: Anwar’s game is about prey and predator and Bobby and Cas are being hunted down. Additionally, looking ahead to the preview for Volume 2 that there is a section told from the point of view of a predator: a bird of prey.