Thursday, 6 August 2015

H is for Hawk

My book group recently read Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk, which won ,amongst other prizes last year, the Costa book of the year award.  I enjoyed the read, although  some others found it hard to get into and some also struggled to finish it. It was intriguing, with its beautiful and lyrical writing about nature when Helen is training and eventually flying Mabel outside. The descriptions of the English countryside even in winter inspired me to look for the beauty in the barest of winter landscapes when out and about in it. Contrasted with this was a near academic dissertation of T H White's The Goshawk, his story of trying to train a goshawk in the way that Helen Macdoanld was doing. There was also quite a lot of information about early books on the training of hawks, which I personally found interesting.
The author seemed to have been an observer rather than a participant as a child, which was when she first read The Goshawk and became passionate about hawks.
We did have some discussion about her description of the grief she felt at the sudden death of her father, which was obviously a shock to the whole family and concluded that the training of Mabel was an eventually successful effort to overcome her grief.
All i n all, this is a worthwhile read and a memorable one.

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