“Here’s a word. Bereavement. Or, Bereaved. Bereft. It’s from the Old English bereafian, meaning ‘to deprive of, take away, seize, rob’. Robbed. Seized. It happens to everyone. But you feel it alone. Shocking loss isn’t to be shared, no matter how hard you try.”
― Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk
I didn't know what to expect from this book, despite having read the summary and several glowing reviews. It seemed to have an odd premise, added to that I'm not a huge fan of reading non fiction, nor do I have an interest in birds of prey. Nonetheless, I was intrigued and grabbed a copy, and I'm glad I did. The story itself is not so much about hawks, as it is about Macdonald dealing with grief and finding a reason to get up in the morning. This was, for me, not unputdownable, however, I immediately warmed to the author's voice and the language is beautifully descriptive, almost poetic at times, a love letter to her father, to her hawk, to nature. I won't go so far as to say this book has me turning into a fan of falconry, but it does rouse an interest in exploring Macdonald's other writing, purely for her style and memorable voice. A worthwhile read.
Just as an aside - weirdly, I just opened my email to see a Groupon for Falconry School?!