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.
H Is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey - an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. It's a book about memory, nature, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.
"Breathtaking . . . Helen Macdonald renders an indelible impression of a raptor’s fierce essence -and her own - with words that mimic feathers, so impossibly pretty we don’t notice their astonishing engineering." - New York Times Book Review
"Assured, honest and raw . . . a soaring wonder of a book." - Boston Globe