A Book A Week Challenge – Week 9

Having a pet was never one of those things that I would have even considered until the day I picked up this memoir novel by Helen Macdonald. Of all the those options for pets, Goshawk definitely didn’t cross my mind ever before.

It would only be a lie if I said that after reading ‘H for Hawk’, I have decided to have a pet for myself. But, this reading gave me a totally different perspective on training or petting animals. Picking dogs, cats, hamsters or rabbits might have helped me to understand the nuances, because I knew tons of people around me who have them as pets – but Goshawks, never heard.

Probably that could even be the reason why I had to put a conscious effort towards getting into the skin of Helen Macdonald.


Book #: 9

Title: ‘H is for Hawk‘ by Helen Macdonald

Pages: 288

It is not just a memoir of one generation who is willing to take up that effort to train the hawks, it moves down the memory lane into the childhood of her father who loved photography. Suddenly, he is gone and she had to live with that fact.

Isn’t trust that should be mutually earned?

Humans and hawks probably didn’t blend as much in the history but hawks were not a bad choice for having to be a franchise names. Hunters were used as synonymous to Hawks, in all those scenarios.

But, here we are: two different species, trying to make peace out of their grief struck lives.

It’s only the connection that matters now.

As she narrates the first time she meets the hawk:

“My heart jumps sideways. She is a conjuring trick. A reptile. A fallen angel. A griffon from the pages of an illuminated bestiary. Something bright and distant, like gold falling through water.” 

Even though I haven’t read T.H. White’s “The Goshawk”, I could read through the structure of this book, how much that a book could be an influence. Probably, someday in the near future someone will quote “H is for Hawk” with the same admiration.

The beginning was tough like it would be every time you venture out into the zone you haven’t experienced before. But, sometimes it could as well be the best moment when you took that leap.

I took that to read “H is for Hawk”

Henry Macdonald took that.

Mabel (Goshawk) took that too.

In the closing chapters, it was no longer Macdonald who was living with goshawk, it’s everyone of us as individuals. It was no longer the narration of someone who you never met before. It was about your experience, your joy of having a pet, feeding it, training it, emotionally connecting it and living in exactly the same world.

If you already have a pet, you might have experienced a bit of it. But, if you haven’t had a pet, read this one to give you a reason.


3 thoughts on “A Book A Week Challenge – Week 9

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