H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. The more I read about H is for Hawk the more compelling it seemed and so I took the bait and read the book itself. It didn't disappoint. In fact it's easily the best book I read this year. Macdonald, cast adrift by the death of her father, decides to adopt and train a goshawk but that premise barely begins to describe what the book is about. The writing is startling and as vigorous as the goshawk whose raw energy sits at the core of the book. Captivating, and now I have a fascination with hawking and I know a goshawk from an austringer.
The Hunter and the Wild Girl by Pauline Holdstock. Pauline Holdstock came to my attention when she made the Giller Prize shortlist in 2004 for Beyond Measure, a fascinating novel about the world of art in 16th century Italy. With her new novel, Holdstock takes us to 19th century France where Peyre Rouff has retreated from the world after suffering a tragedy. But a feral girl crashes into his calm and wrenches him free of his estrangement in a subtly told story about a man who can't avoid the consequences of the choices he makes.
About McNally Robinson from Chris:
If you are out that way, a stop in is MANDATORY!