When Helen Macdonald’s father passed away unexpectedly, she could have turned to a number of coping mechanisms. What she ended up committing herself too was, strangely enough, falconry.
I don’t know about you, but here’s what I personally know about falconry: birds are involved, and…yeah, that’s about it. If you’re like me and don’t know much about the hunting sport–and even if you don’t necessarily desire to know more about it–this book could still work for you; while Macdonald offers a great introduction to the topic, the focus isn’t really on birds at all. Instead, H is for Hawk is a book focused on what it means to lose, to heal, and to explore exactly what it means to make it through the valleys of life.
Her story is personal in a way that makes you smile at things you’d never really think about otherwise: the commitment between human and animal, the balance between fierceness and a gentle spirit, the mistakes that make us better people. Macdonald even supplements the story with pictures showing how her and her hawk, Mabel, bonded; one of their favorite games was making noises at one another through a paper tube. The audio-book is a great option, too, though, giving a great insight to the sounds and emotions involved in having such a unique hobby. Flowing seamlessly through delight and grief, this is a nonfiction book you’ll want to pick up.
“When you are broken, you run. But you don’t always run away. Sometimes, helplessly, you run towards.”
If you’re interested in learning about a fresh topic, finding solace in the words of someone who has endured loss, or simply expanding your horizons, H for Hawk is for you.
Thanks for reading! –Autumn
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