|From The British Library|
Claire Farley, a calm, professional writer of history articles living in Herefordshire, has tolerated her husband’s many affairs, forgiving him each time, and after the most recent, believing that she was partly to blame because she stays in the countryside most of the time whilst he goes to London to work. She tries to convince herself that he is getting too old to have affairs, but her unhappiness is growing
When a son of a friend wants a pet hawk, she offers to house it and help look after it. She ends up fully participating in its training, and as she learns to train the wild bird, her confidence grows. She also meets a wildlife photographer and begins to build a relationship with him. She’s never been able to tolerate the idea of having an affair herself before, but this time, things might be different.
I did enjoy this book but it didn’t “grab” me and I wasn’t convinced by the characters. They are all very middle-class, nobody in the novel has anything really to worry about beyond their relationships. The writing style was hard for me to get into, there was some lovely description, particularly of the hawk training around which the story of the human relationships is built, but the author just tells us how the characters felt a lot of the time and avoids showing us their thoughts and physical reactions. They are all very reserved people and this annoyed me, I just couldn’t relate to them. The book stays mostly with Claire’s point of view but sometimes switches around, and I felt that the characterisation of the other characters was weak, especially Claire’s daughters.
I received this book through a swap at ReadItSwapIt and I probably never would have bought it myself. It’s unlikely I’ll re-read it or bother picking up anything else from this author, but it may be someone else’s cup of tea.