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H is for Hawk
Winner of BookBrowse's 2015 Nonfiction Award.
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Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

Created: 03/20/16

Replies: 15

Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

Helen describes training a hawk in close detail. Does that engage you or are other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?


Posted Apr. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

The actual training of the hawk was interesting, rather strange and somewhat gruesome to me but I sort of understood the need for it. I was more interested in how she sort of put her life on hold to do all this and her attempts to understand White and his experiences which were rather strange too. It was a relief to me when she actually started to re-engage with her real life as I thought at times she was going to not be able to do that.


Posted Apr. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BarbMJ

Join Date: 10/10/14

Posts: 11

RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I also found the training interesting. It's not something I would ever do but the precision that is needed was eye-opening. I found the descriptions of White's writing and how it was tied to his personal life almost as engaging. It was hard to follow at first and was disturbing at times but overall it gave me a better background into his work. I doubt I'll read about Gos but The Sword in the Stone is now on my to read list.


Posted Apr. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

The more relevant question for me, is, are there parts of the narrative less engaging than the narrative about Helen training her hawk. If I had wanted to read The Goshawk I would have picked up that book. I found the story of Helen's grief and of the training of Mabel compelling, but the attention she gave White (even though I understand how much the book influenced her decision to become involved with falconry) overblown. It nearly made me give up on this book. I didn't feel I needed his entire life history, nor was I interested in a comparative study of their training methods (particularly since he failed.) I found myself wondering if she had written a thesis or other major paper on White and felt a need to include her study in this book, relevant or not.


Posted Apr. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susann

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 13

RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I had difficulty staying interested in the parts about training the hawk. I was more interested in the parts about processing her grief and what was going on in her mind.


Posted Apr. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 53

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I agree to a point with you Susann. I found myself reading it and feeling surprised that I was reading about hawk training - not something I'm remotely interested in! But then I felt that this intense focus on the training was part of her processing her grief and it gradually became more important and relate-able as the book went on.


Posted Apr. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I was engaged by the hawk, especially her playing with it, and I too found some of it hard to read, but given the title, obviously I was ready to learn about hawking; I am interested in birds, and I am always interested in other people's experience of handling grief. Initially I found the focus on T.H.White distracting -- even though I did love his Once and Future King trilogy as a young person. But gradually I realized that this was an important part of Helen's grief experience: revisiting a book that had inspired her, not only for the hawking, but as an adult realizing how much he had worked out his own emotional problems through his hawking and through his writing, both of which she was trying to do. His work gave her insight into her own grief, as much as it was a manual of what not to do in training a goshawk. I don't think this was reworking an old thesis; I think it grew out of her growing obsession with her hawk, and her need to connect with a childhood influence from her new perspective.


Posted Apr. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I was very interested in the training of the hawks both with Helen and T.H. White. It made me aware of difficulties and patience it involves.i had a hard time with the idea of taking a wild spirit and taming it and training it to do what is natural instinct if left in its habitat. Both Helen's and White's personal stories were secondary for me but engaging.


Posted Apr. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
michellem

Join Date: 03/12/14

Posts: 6

RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

i agree with most of what everyone has said about her descriptive narratives of training the hawk. If you enjoy falconry then you would love these sections but frankly it was too involved for me.


Posted Apr. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 105

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I found myself very engaged with Helen's training of Mabel and I loved the juxtapositions she made with T.H. White. I also liked her bringing in Winnicott, Freud, and other people whose research and ideas influenced her.


Posted Apr. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 63

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

On my bucket list is the thrill of holding a raptor & seeing it fly off then back again. I was curious about the training, but would gladly let someone else do the training. At times it did seem like Helen was hiding behind the stories of others.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I was very interested in Helen's time in Maine. I thought the differences in American falconry was so different. The open spaces allowed every class to work with birds not just estate owners also the idea of keeping birds for a limited amount of time and then releasing them appealed to me. Helen's time in Maine was almost thereputic. It restored her and I think the time with her mother as well as friends was healing.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I was totally engaged with the story of Helen & White's training their hawks. I was definitely interested in how this hawk/training/hunting moved Helen from her grief stricken life to a person fully engaged in life later. White's story is integral to Helen's story. I thought she layered the story to my satisfaction & appreciated her descriptions.


Posted Apr. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

While I was engaged in the narrative of Helen's training the hawk, I was more interested in the evolution of her grieving process and her returning to being engaged in life again, mediated by her training of Mabel. I admit that I could have done without the juxtapositions to T.H. White.


Posted May. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barb23703

Join Date: 10/04/15

Posts: 53

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RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

Initially, I was interested in the processes and progression of Helen's training of her hawk, and how it varied from White's. Later, I was more interested and moved by those times when she was away from the hawk and having realizations of who her father was to others. It reminded me of the concept of flying higher to gain an larger and more universal perspective of something or someone you are close to and therefore think you know.


Posted May. 25, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robinm

Join Date: 02/09/13

Posts: 5

RE: Were you engaged by the parts of the narrative about Helen training her hawk, or were other parts of the narrative equally or more important to you?

I found Helen's description of her training of Mabel quite interesting and could relate to parts of it from my work experiences using applied behavior analysis and reinforcement with my students. What drew me to the book was the description of how she used training the hawk as an outlet for her grief, and I was more than satisfied. I did not care for the T.H. White portions of the book. I don't think it added anything.


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