H is for Hawk

Helen Macdonald’s book is part memoir of grief, part close literary study, and somehow also a tale of rewilding—not of the landscape, but of the author herself. When her father dies suddenly, Macdonald—a lifelong falconer—finds herself obsessed with training a goshawk, one of the more challenging birds of prey. Her experience follows and contrasts with T.H. White’s chronicle with his own goshawk, named merely Gos. Where White’s experience ends in sorrow, Macdonald’s only begins there. The story is unilke anything you’ve ever read, but the real attraction is the sentences: the language is percussive and toothy and totally enthralling.