H is for Hawk is a brilliant book. It is a non fiction book pulling the reader right in. It is packed with brilliant descriptions, insights and deeply interesting caracters, one of them a Hawk called Mable.
A young woman has just lost her father. The world without him hurts her as if she was constantly breathing very cold air. Her past and present whirl around her, while she feels unable to move towards the future of a world no longer held together by her fathers presence.
The woman decides to buy a hawk and train it. She wants to get out of herself, away from the grief, become a part of the wilderness of this animal. But forming a relationship with the bird will also require her abilities connecting her deeply with her father: watching, being patient, almost disappearing, being present outside herself.
She has been a falconer for a long time, but never has had a Hawk, who are said to be difficult and vicious birds. Her wish to become a falconer had lead to her reading TH White’s The Goshawk as a child. This book had both repelled and fascinated her. White treats his Hawk unbearably cruel as he tragically misunderstands it. Now she starts rereading it as she is working out her own relationship with the world anew. And her relationship with her Hawk which is marked by her professional competence and her intense focus on the bird.
As she sees it for the first time, her own young Hawk strikes her as a similar soul. Attentive, sensible, open to the world, but at the same time lost in its vastness, and the multitude of its input to her senses.
Together with Mabel she goes out into the world again.
A book I certainly wouldn’t want to have missed! One of a kind, philosophical, intense and full of the wonders of reality, perception and companionship.
I recommend it with five paws!