Review: MacDonald’s H is for Hawk

H Is for Hawk

Helen MacDonald

A wonderfully strange memoir of a woman training a hawk while morning her father and reflecting on the life (and failed falconry) of the author T.H. White. Generally, I couldn’t care less about training birds to hunt things, or the life of White, or the joys of the English countryside, but MacDonald is so passionate, about her hawk, about losing her father, about White’s troubles, and is so wonderful a writer that I couldn’t put the book down. She makes the patient, repetitive nature of training a hawk riveting and the mental troubles she suffers after her father’s death seem so immediate, I worried for her.

I can see someone disliking it  for its very British eccentricities (it is, largely, about a lady walking around Cambridge with a hawk thinking abut a dude walking around the English country side with a hawk) but I loved it just for those qualities. Its quirky, restrained, but also funny, troubling. It makes for great reading.




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    […] H is for Hawk, Helen McDonald – Recommended  […]

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