H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
It was the rage of something not fitting: the frustration of trying to put something in a box that is slightly too small. You try moving the shape around in the hope that some angle will make it fit in the box. Slowly comes an apprehension that this may not, after all, be possible. And finally you know it won’t fit, there is no way it can fit, but that doesn’t stop you from using brute force to try to crush it in, punishing the bloody thing for not fitting properly. That is what it was like but I was the box, I was the thing that didn’t fit, and I was the person smashing it, over and over again, with bruised and bleeding hands.
I read this one because Amanda Palmer recommend it. It’s an award winner and considered one of the best books of last year. I liked it, however, most on Goodreads remain baffled.
It is a memior. About a young woman who loses her father suddenly and takes up falconry. She gets a Goshawk, which is one of the bigger breeds, and with no hesitation, trains her. Facing depression and the madness of losing her father, she embraces Mabel and her wild side and learns alot about herself in the process.
There was ALOT about T.H. White and his book about falconry. It runs almost parallel to Helen’s story, and how each faced their own separate struggles. I know alot of people disliked this aspect because it is a memior and not historical fiction. Helen is an accomplished nature enthusiast and Mabel is not her first hawk, but it is her first Goshawk.
The prose was beautiful in parts as you travel along with Helen, and you can feel her grief in the pages.
I do recommend this, but keep in mind it’s not for everyone. I learned more about falconry than I ever thought possible. XD