H is for Hawk is the true story of Helen MacDonald – a woman who sought relief from the grief of her father’s death in training a Goshawk.
Although an experienced Falconer, MacDonald had never really entertained the idea of taking on such a predator – although she had been fascinated by hawks since her childhood.
The text – although lacking in narrative structure – talks about the process of training her hawk Mabel and the complex series of emotions this brings. Underlying it all is MacDonald’s need to find a connection – something to replace her father.
Mabel herself though is unknowable and untameable – both predator and child. There are several fascinating elements of the story, and discussion of the books she had read on this topic and others – including the curative nature of animals in the grieving process. Definitely worth a look if the subject matter intrigues you.