This month’s book is H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald. This award winning book is the story of a woman coming to terms with grief after her father suddenly dies. When Helen McDonald learns of her father’s passing, she purchases a goshawk. As time goes on she retreats further from the human world by immersing herself in the training of her hawk, Mabel.
The author alternates the telling of her missteps and successes with Mabel with an account of author T.H. White’s experiences training his hawk, Gos. Though Mcdonald descends into isolation and heavy depression, her time with Mabel eventually helps her to come to terms with her sorrow.
Cooper enjoyed this novel. She found the way T.H. White treated his hawk to be disturbing, though. She liked that falconry has its own terminology (bloom, rouse, mute [poop!]). She learned quite a bit about falconry and the goshawk – a bird almost as fierce as a budgie. Her favorite parts of the book, though, were the descriptions of Mabel flying free.