As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T.H. White’s tortured masterpiece, The Goshawk, which describes White’s struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest. When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for £800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge, embarking on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals.
Helen Macdonald is an author, poet, historian, illustrator and naturalist. She writes with an honest and raw voice in this unflinching account of her struggle with grief while taming her hawk. It is memorable, disturbing and compelling so you’ll need time to savour the elegant and rich writing.
Take flight with this amalgam of nature writing, personal memoir, literary portrait and an examination of bereavement like you’ve never read before.