H is for Hawk review

Helen Macdonald has written poetry before and it shows. She writes not just about things seen, but also things felt — intuitive thoughts and feelings turned into words. Macdonald writes about taming a hard-to-handle goshawk as an escape from the world and the loss of her father — and even though the subject is very much the wilderness of the bird and the fields and forests, the pages run thick with insights on human behaviour, distilled by the rawness of nature. It took me long a while to finish H is for Hawk because I’d be taking photos and notes, going back to pages and reading them aloud to my wife — and often I’d put the book down just in sheer awe of a paragraph. This is an impossibly good, timeless book. I did not know books could do this.