Wow!  What a wonderful book.  As soon as I saw the cover I knew I wanted to read this book.
This is a real-life account of how Helen Macdonald trained a goshawk and then wrote a book about it.  But what a book; it shimmers with life and excitement.  Her language is so descriptive that you are there with her, an enormous hawk gripping your gloved fist while she wrestles with her grief over her dead father and the young goshawk she is determined to train.  By the end of the book which, I might add, is hard to put down, you feel you know Mabel, the hawk, as well as Macdonald does.  For anyone who loves birds and the countryside this is a very rewarding read.  It also contains a mini-biography of the writer TH White who wrote a book entitled The Goshawk, which Macdonald had read as a child and numerous times since.  As you read H is for Hawk you accompany MacDonald on a journey of discovery where she comes to terms with her own personal grief, reaches an understanding about TH White and his tortured life and learns to love and respect Mabel, her goshawk.

Awarded the Samuel Johnson prize for Non-Fiction in 2014.


Joan Fallon is a writer and novelist living in Spain.