When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer, Helen had 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 temperament 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 challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.
Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an
unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of
an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary
writer's eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and
history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and
memoir from an outstanding literary innovator. @ goodreads
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Mabel the goshawk. This is a memoir
about going through the grief of losing your father along with doing
something you have loved all of your life, being a falconer.
brings us into her world of giving up everything to learn with Mabel
and train her. She shares her grief, the ability to turn down a job
because she has to stay and fly her goshawk, stressing over running out
of money, losing everything... all but the joy of being with Mabel.
thought the way she wrote was almost poetic at times. She spends a lot
of time talking about T.H. White's book about his goshawk. She read his
work as a child but did not understand it. As an adult she could relate
to what he was saying more so than in childhood.
This is a
beautiful and sad story of a girl that grew up to do what she wanted to
do as a child. I am happy for anyone that can do that and I'm sorry
about the pain of losing her father. Losing anyone in your family like
that is devastating.
I would recommend this to anyone that loves animals and memoirs. 4 Stars