H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald

I came to this one without knowing a single thing about it. As it turns out, it was an absorbing personal account of the author's struggles following the death of her father. The narrative weaves together several interesting threads, including the training of Mabel, her new goshawk; the parallel description of the life of author T. H. White and his training of a goshawk; and the author's struggles with mental illness. All elements were beautifully written, and I had to purchase White's The Goshawk halfway through the book in order to read this interesting story for myself. It was the description of mental illness that I found most compelling. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during this past year, and reading about someone else in a very similar set of circumstances provided me a strange comfort. As Macdonald immerses herself in training Mabel, she describes the growing feelings of misanthropy and skewed perception until one day, in the book's best chapter, she realizes something is terribly wrong within her. I won't say more. I really loved the time spent with this book and was sorry for it to end.