H is for Hawk

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H is for Hawk

1bertyboy
feb 24, 2016, 12:28pm

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Has anyone read this? What did you think?

2MarthaJeanne
feb 24, 2016, 12:51pm

3mirikayla
feb 24, 2016, 3:31pm

I have, and it was actually one of my favorite books last year. There's a lot about T.H. White that I think lost some people, but it worked for me. It's an interesting combination of memoir (MacDonald), biography (White), and historical fiction. I thought it was really beautiful.

4mandra
feb 24, 2016, 5:27pm

I agree, one of my favourite books from last year. Beautifully written, and just the right combination of fascinating information about a subject I never would have chosen to read about and personal memoir.

5Seajack
feb 24, 2016, 11:29pm

I bailed on it partway through -- too much White and falconry minutae to keep my attention.

6Muscogulus
feb 25, 2016, 11:28am

Never heard of this, but it sounds fascinating. Devoted fan of The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn. But I know little of White’s life beside what's in the front matter to Merlyn.

7Sandydog1
apr 9, 2017, 1:11pm

Idyllic and fascinating at times, melancholy and downright depressing at others. Yes, I admit, it is beautifully, poetically written.

8Helenliz
apr 9, 2017, 1:17pm

Read it, couldn't connect. Found it strangely lacking in emotion.

9LynnB
Redigerat: apr 10, 2017, 2:05pm

I read it last year. Helen Macdonald is an excellent writer, and this book is worth reading for the prose alone. That said, I didn’t get a sense of strong emotions. The writing is not dispassionate, but somehow muted. While I loved all the sections about T.H. White, his prominent role in the book, in my opinion, added to the distancing between the reader and the author's personal struggles. The descriptions of falconry, and Mabel in particular, were wonderful. But I did get a little lost in the parallels between hawking and grieving her father's death. It seems she used the challenge of training Mabel as an excuse to retreat from other responsibilities and relationships -- this is how she dealt with her grief, but she isn't explicit about that. This is a hard book to write about -- it was beautiful, fascinating and distant all at the same time.

10Seajack
apr 11, 2017, 10:37am

I gave up on it as well.

11Sandydog1
maj 28, 2017, 9:15am

It was tough, especially the long, drawn out descriptions of the other book, a tortured homosexual inadvertently torturing his pet Gos'.

12AquariusNat
jun 5, 2017, 5:44pm

I am currently reading this book ! About 100 pages into it and really finding it interesting .

13padmajoy
jun 6, 2017, 12:57pm

I decided to not read this book after reading reviews but then one of the book groups I'm in choose it so I read it.
I was captivated from the start. This book is a great memoir of a woman's relationship with a hawk. She trains it and goes through many trials and tribulations with it until the end. This is a love story between a bird and a human and as wonderful as anything I've read of it's kind.
I also enjoyed Lab girl a a memoir of a relationship of a woman and her trees.
Helen Mac Donald also includes her recollections with the story of another man who was training a hawk in an earlier century. He had much less guidance and stumbled along making many mistakes in the training. Another love story, this one much more fraught with difficulty.
Highly recommend!

14Muscogulus
jun 15, 2017, 10:57pm

This thread alerted me to the book. Today I spotted a copy in the Book Club corner of a favorite local bookstore.

After reading the prologue I am impressed. I didn't walk out with it, but it took willpower, and I will definitely be back for it. I can see what all the fuss is about.

15SChant
jun 16, 2017, 5:46am

the story of another man who was training a hawk in an earlier century
The "other man" was T H White, author of The Once and Future King series of Arthurian novels, as well as many others.

16Sandydog1
aug 1, 2017, 8:09pm

>13 padmajoy:

I have got to move Lab Girl farther up on the TBR mountain.

17cindydavid4
aug 1, 2017, 8:46pm

Huge fan of TH White, and interested in Falconry - picked it up, and was not sorry at all. Got a dif view of White that was not what I expected but loved how she tied him in with her training of the hawk, and her grief for her father. Beautifully written.

18mcorbink
jan 5, 2020, 9:05am

Intriguing, I liked the history, got a little lost in the parallels between hawking and loss, tons of vocabulary and figurative language! I enjoyed that! Also enjoyed the history and descriptions of the English landscape then and now.

19saxobob
Redigerat: mar 5, 2020, 8:00pm

This tallies exactly with my feelings about this book. Oops my first post here... i thought i was replying below pad’s review.

20bromeliad_water
Redigerat: mar 26, 2020, 4:59pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

21jecarney64
jan 26, 10:31am

>18 mcorbink: yes well said!

22cindydavid4
Redigerat: apr 6, 6:33am

fascinated by her connections with White; Once and Future King has been my favorite book from the time I read the disney version till I discovered the whole work in HS. Still can recall complete passages. Oh and the final book that was published separately Book of Merlyn was pure genius. Reading her take on him doesn't diminish that, but does give me pause .....