Deep, raw and strangely engaging.
I was drawn to this book as part of my research for my Dark Ages novel Teon, because it is primarily about falconry and the intimate relationship between the handler and the bird. I had already had experienced the art of falconry with several birds of prey, from kestrels to golden eagles, and had a hands-on series which included an owl, merlin and a peregrine falcon.
The book is a memoir but reads like a good novel. Ultimately the training of the raptor was therapy for dealing with grief: the journey starts with the arrival of a goshawk and concludes when it is fully trained and the handler is able to cope with the death of her father.
The story parallels the exploits of T H White in his 1951 book The Goshawk and demonstrates the challenges of training of a hawk. It is a lonely and often harrowing account, depressing at times, but always brutally realistic showing the skills and human comparisons essential to live and survive.
H is for Hawk is an original and well written book, easy to read, although there were a few moments where I was aware of some straining imagery, but on the whole it flowed well. It is a great insight to falconry with great detail, showing the personality of the hawk and the quirkiness that evokes.
Winner of the Costa Book Award
Published by Vintage Digital on 31 July 2014.
Shop at Amazon
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Reviews by Year of Publication
All 1866 1897 1932 1935 1942 1950 1953 1960 1962 1969 1971 1974 1977 1978 1983 1984 1985 1989 1991 1994 1995 1996 1997 2001 2002 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021