Search This Blog

Friday, June 10, 2016

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

This is a luminous book that is exceptionally well written, and any speck of interest in hawks is completely unnecessary.  It is certainly not a book of fiction, but there is something about this memoir that feels more casual than non-fiction usually comes across and do not avoid it for that reason.  It is a pleasure to read it, and an interest in falconry in general and goshawk in particular is ancillary. 
This is a very interesting book on two levels.  The first is that it is about overcoming grief.  The author's father died and she met criteria for major depression in the months that followed his death.  She was almost completely disabled as a result and so her decision to train a very difficult bird to be at her beck and call was not one made in the sanest of moments for her.  She juxtaposes her love of falconry with her love of her father and how she used one to come to terms with the other.  The other interesting theme in this book is her theory about T.H. White using a goshawk as a way to either overcome his homosexuality or to come to terms with it.  In either case, his was a failed attempt and hers was not.  Very thoughtful and thought provoking read.

No comments:

Post a Comment