H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This memoir is a heartfelt and beautifully written account of how Cambridge professor Helen Macdonald used her experience with falconry to help her cope with her grief over the sudden death of her father.
In remembering her childhood dreams and her love of books where animals were the primary characters, she pulls “The Goshawk” from the shelf. The author, T. H. White, also wrote “The Sword and the Stone.”
Throughout her memoir, Macdonald reverts to White, his troubled life, and his taming of a hawk. White was not always successful. Macdonald connects his mistakes in training his goshawk with the mistakes and troubles in his own life. These revelations are all part of her ultimate success in training Mabel, her goshawk.
A book about nature is not something I normally gravitate to. But the high praise for this book about Mabel and her trainer, drew me in. I admired McDonald’s writing and her sentiments throughout this memoir. Macdonald’s undertakings force the reader to admire her tenacity. So the book is a wonder for those who appreciate determination while soaking in the wonders of her English countryside. Yes, this is a book to admire.
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