Day 988: H Is for Hawk

Cover for H Is for HawkBest Book of the Week!
I never gave too much thought to what is involved in falconry until I read H Is for Hawk, a memoir by Helen Macdonald, English naturalist, writer, and Affiliated Research Scholar at Cambridge University. But Macdonald’s memoir covers more ground than just that. It is also an examination of what is revealed about the writer T. H. White in his nonfiction book Goshawk and a recollection and examination of Macdonald’s grief over the death of her father.

As such, H Is for Hawk has many layers. It is a literary work, both in its examination of White’s book and in its eloquent writing style. It is an unflinching memoir. It is also deep psychologically in its examination of the forces that drove White and that drive Macdonald. Finally, it is a journal of falconry.

I was deeply interested in the story of Helen and her hawk Mabel. I was particularly surprised by some details about the personality of the hawk. This book contains some beautiful, almost poetic descriptions of the natural world. It is certainly worth reading. Highly recommended.

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8 thoughts on “Day 988: H Is for Hawk

  1. bornandread October 29, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    I’m really keen to read this book, but I’ve heard it’s quite harrowing and heart-breaking, so I’m a little nervous!

    • whatmeread November 1, 2016 / 9:59 pm

      I don’t think I would call it heartbreaking.

  2. Naomi October 29, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Everybody loves this book. I wonder why I haven’t read it yet?
    (I’m just noticing that you’re almost at 1000!)

    • whatmeread November 1, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      Yes, although I haven’t been able to do much recently because of no access to the internet.

  3. Sandra October 30, 2016 / 4:24 am

    A personal favourite of mine. I found it hard to gather my thoughts succinctly on this one, it being so dense, complex and multi-stranded. You have achieved that brilliantly!

    • whatmeread November 1, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Thanks! It is dense but not forbidding.

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