Summary: When Helen MacDonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer captivated by hawks since childhood, she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators: the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral anger mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T. H. White’s chronicle The Goshawk to begin her journey into Mabel’s world. Projecting herself “in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her” tested the limits of MacDonald’s humanity.
By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement, a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, and the story of an eccentric falconer and legendary writer. Weaving together obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history, H Is for Hawk is a distinctive, surprising blend of nature writing and memoir from a very gifted writer…Read more.
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Helen Macdonald: H Is For Hawk Audio Book Summary
H Is For Hawk stands out for being a book of difficult classification, could be autobiographical and of nonfiction to the naked eye, but inside it encloses much more than the story of a life. It is a beautiful first-person narrative of Helen McDonald and how she managed to overcome the mourning of a loss by entering into the world of training a particular bird.
Helen MacDonald after the death of her father, a character who was very close to her throughout her life and with whom she had a very close relationship; Finds some consolation buying during a trip to Scotland a female hawk, species very similar to the falcon.
All the next year he dedicated to training the bird with falconry techniques. He forges a close relationship with his hawk named Mabel. He dedicates most of his time to it and that, in turn, helps him to gradually overcome the depression in which he found himself having lost his father. She knows that nothing and nobody can fill the void, but training Mabel serves as occupational therapy, and beyond that, is generating an attachment to her, built on the basis of time, dedication and admiration.
McDonald found the resignation of his loss thanks to his hawk. The world of hunting had attracted him since childhood and was part of what his father had taught him, it was in a way, a way to feel it present.
The book in turn, talks about another book, The Goshawk. McDonald compares the experience of training his hawk with the writer T. H. White in training his own. T.H White is best known for his books The Sword on the Lose, Merlin’s Book and the acclaimed Camelot which in 1960 would be adapted for the Broadway theater as a musical that would later be famous around the world.
Another aspect to consider is the poetic dimension of the narrative, in which are deposited metaphors that allow the reader to see how deep was to Helen his relationship with Mabel, the gratitude he had and his admiration for the hawks.
Helen MacDonald took five years to be able to turn into paper this story that had already been spinning in her head, at first, tried to be measured but the book did not flow, decided then, that she should be honest about what she had lived so that her Faithfully convey the message.
H Is For Hawk is a story told in a beautiful way, it is not the thematic itself that tends to trap the reader irremediably, it is the way in which history implicitly deals with loss, pain, embarrassed feelings, mourning and Overcoming, Hawk H is also the portrait of a daughter’s love for her father; And the discovery of a love for life, for nature.
In the book are mixed experiences with hawks, training lessons, generalities of birds, expressions of depth of feelings and mythological aspects of birds of prey. It is a very complete book, but not complex, it is a literary delight.