The Hawkman

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

I received this book from netgalley in exchange for a honest review 

This book wasnt my usual type of book. It did not appeal to me and was unable to hold my interest. It seemed to jump between genres. Part historical fiction and part legend
Was this review helpful?
This book is beautifully written and lyrical. Two very different characters an American schoolteacher and an Irish musician, survive together in a small cottage. This historical fiction novel is set in the late 19th century. It is a realistic magical tale set during the events of the Great War.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

What attracted me to this story was not only the synopsis but also the gorgeous cover. It is a story of the aftermath of war. An America schoolteacher plus an Irish musician have been been touched by the ravages of war. They come together in an English village where they try to hide from the world that has shattered them. However, the small minds of the community wager against them and break into the quiet and serenity this couple so very much need.

This was a beautifully told story, the writing was the key to what occurred to this young man and how, because of the things he had to do, becomes something considered less than human. The man, Michael thought he was a bird and the woman, Eva tried to restore him. The time period was that after World War 1 and again for this reader the writing was the key. There is fantasy and reality in the telling. 

While the story was well told, it was a book that required much time and concentration to read. It was a bit of a brooding tale and one that might not appeal to many readers.

Thank you to Jane Resenberg LaForge, Amberjack Publishing, and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this novel.
Was this review helpful?
The point of this book is not so much the story but the beautiful writing. Fairy tales woven seamlessly into the story of a young woman and the man she tries to save. The author does a beautiful job of showing us how a man can go from being a man to less than human when having to do unspeakable things, in a way that makes so much more sense than anything I have ever read before. So many emotions while reading him going through his emotions, or the emotions he stomps down. What a beautiful story.
Was this review helpful?
4 mesmerizing stars to The Hawkman! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

I knew in reading the description that this book would be a stretch for me. It combines a genre I love, historical fiction, with fantasy/mythology, and I was intrigued with the two would mesh. I had to open my mind as a reader and relax into this story, and once I did, I found it remarkable. 

World War II is a time I read about frequently, and I was pleased that this book actually takes place during World War I. Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, The Bearskin, as well as experiences of prisoners-of-war in German prison camps, The Hawkman is a completely original and absorbing tale. 

At the heart of the story are an American school teacher and an Irish musician, Eva and Michael, who meet in an English village. The peacefulness of their life together is tested, and a “legend” is in the making at the same time. 

The author, Jane Rosenberg LaFarge, writes with colorful, beautiful prose. The Hawkman has the mystical-ness one looks for in a fairy tale. As I said above, it took patience on my part to enjoy this book, but I did. Oh, how I did. 

Thank you to Jane Rosenberg LaForge, Amberjack Publishing, and Netgalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
“this a story of a man who thought he was a bird and the woman who helped him find his humanity again” 

Oh gosh the writing was so beautiful 
Was this review helpful?
This novel wasn't for me. The premise was interesting and that cover - WOAH! But once again, I was drawn in by a cover (See: Paris by the Book). The idea of a WWI novel really intrigued as most war novels are set in WWII. I wanted more historical fiction and less magical realism in the book - which for me, fell short of actual magical realism. The characters are dark and gloomy, and not in a "good way," in a depressing way. Now, I know what you're thinking - it's about The Great War, it is depressing! But this was supposed to hinge on a fairy tale and granted the Grimm Brother's Tale were dark, they still held moral lessons and ideas - villains were punished, good guys still won most of the time (yes, I've read the collection as has my son). This fell short of any type of dignified ending.

Now - I will say that LaForge is excellent at descriptive writing. Her narrations of the Hawkman and his appearance alone took me directly into this world. Her use of language is unsurpassed so I wouldn't dismiss this author, I jsut didn't care for this novel. It moved too slow for me in terms of plot and the Hawkman himself is the only character I found any connection with, and it was minimal. 

The novel is based on a German fairy tale - The Bearskin.

While this isn't my "cup of tea" if you enjoy magical realism, I would certainly give this a go.  🍷🍷🍷
Was this review helpful?
Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the writing or the story of this novel. I really thought it would be a book I would enjoy, but I found myself picking it up for a few chapters then losing interest very quickly. I haven't finished it, and I honestly don't have the energy or desire to try at this point. It just wasn't the book for me.
Was this review helpful?
This book is all about the writing, the writing, the writing – 

“This is a story about a man who thought he was a bird and the woman who helped him find his humanity again.” Set in a small English town which housed a large estate which in turn “hosted a woman’s college which produced…young ladies of use.” The story is slow paced and there are few twists and turns. In many places the narrative is told through a stream of consciousness with punctuation. 

Read this book for the story if you choose – But you must read this book for the superb writing.

Thank You NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for an ARC
Was this review helpful?
The Hawkman is a brutal, elegant, cautionary fairy tale.  Set in the period between the wars, the story rides a balancing line between the historic and the surreal.  LaForge blends the horrors of the trenches and the ugliness of Britain’s class system with the soaring beauty of nature, birds, and magic.
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 18%
I didn't realize that this was literary fiction, which is something I never gravitate or want to read. While I appreciate the idea behind this book and the setting, I was still really bored. The writing felt dry of emotion, good pacing and actual interest in the subject. I also thought the prologue was very jarring with how things were explained and I don't think prologues like this never work for novels, since it gives you such a clear view of the ending. If all you read is literary fiction or more adult type books like this, you'll probably like this more than me. But this was dry, boring, full of filler description and not engaging at all.
Was this review helpful?
The Hawkman has all the prerequisites of a fairy tale - the obvious parable, the mix of fantasy and reality that can twist your vision, making the bizarre perfectly acceptable, the consistent personal mistreatment to a depth that would make the break into fairytale completely understood.  It is also an excellent case against the atrocities of war, and the mental break entailed when personal acceptance of the same is no longer tenable.  Aligning these horrors in this historical novel gives us a glimpse into the world our veterans encounter daily.  This is a novel that approaches that pain in a more understandable way for the layperson, in a more empathetic way, than anything else I have read.  Thank you Ms. LaForge for sharing this tale with us.  This is a story I can happily recommend for friends and family.  

I received a free electronic copy of this period novel from Netgalley, Jane Rosenberg LaForge, and Amberjack Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
Was this review helpful?
I received this from Netgalley and Publisher/author for free in exchange for an honest review. 

This cover of this book is what pulled me in. Then I read the synopsis and thought I would give it a shot. 

This book is focused around the time of the great war. I found it to be very well written and the world was great. We are united with 2 people that world apart that found each other. It was very uplifting. The author did a great job bringing you into the story. 

Now, I will say, there were times I would start this and put it down and it would be days before I would pick up again, not because I didn't enjoy the book but because of life around me happening. I would have to read some to find myself in the book again. 

Over all I gave this book a 3.75**
Was this review helpful?
The first thing I did was read the previous reviews. And I was glad since I was not the only person to feel a bit disconnected with this book.
While the book is good as a one time read, personally it did not call out to me. Usually, readers associate with one or more characters or discover a sense of camaraderie, sympathy or something. I found none of that with this book. I was interested in The Hawkman first for its cover, and then it's blurb. Sadly the book was not evocative enough. 
I'd give it two and a half stars, but round it off to three for the beautiful cover.
Was this review helpful?
The prose was dark and depressive, and not even in the good way. It came off sounding dreary, boring and grey, which made the book really hard to get into. I rarely never finish a book, as I always like to see things through till the end after I have invested my time reading several pages, but I really struggled with this one. The author lacks a flair for descriptive writing, and it was really difficult to conjure the images and scene in my head. The story was confusing to say the least, it jumps around at random, switching from the war to miscellaneous fairytales and back again. I was actually really excited to pick up this book after reading through all the raving reviews, but it fell short.
Was this review helpful?
It wasn’t a book that i would pick up again. I struggled to get through the storyline. I didn’t have a connection with the characters.
Was this review helpful?
I was a bit disappointed in this book. That glorious cover and an intriguing description of the story made me read it but sadly it did not live up to my expectations.

A bit like that pretty cover being spoiled by the rather macho sounding title, the book itself seemed confused about what it was supposed to be. Sometimes it told the story of the two main characters living just after World War One in England. Then it wandered off into fairy stories told by one of the characters, after which we might return to England or go back to experience our characters' childhood or wartime experiences. Added to all this were the touches of magical realism which culminated in a very strange ending.

This sounds as though I did not like it. In fact it was a fairly enjoyable read which just tried a bit too hard. Three stars.
Was this review helpful?
Full review will be added to NetGalley/Goodreads closer to publication date; review will be added to Amazon once the book is published!
Was this review helpful?
I really struggled with this book.  The first half was really engaging and full of promise, and I loved the way the author described the scenes and characters.  It was a very poetic way to tell the story, and I enjoyed first. Then it turned into rambling.  It was too wordy.  Majority of the book is almost overdone in its description and doesn't have enough dialogue.  I was getting lost in the descriptions, and not in a good way, to the point where I was confused as to where the story was going.  I think this would have been better if it were shorter or simply had less random stories.  At certain points, we would be in present day, and then without any warning, the story would dive back in time or go into a fairy tale that Eva would tell to Michael or others.  It just lacked a sense of direction and structure.  Each scene was beautiful, but together it came across as messy.
Was this review helpful?
I heard nothing but great things about this book, so I felt quite disappointing when it wasn't this perfect book that I was expecting. I think when it started, it was a solid 5 star read, but towards the end it lost that touch. The ending wasn't super cohesive, and it felt a little rushed and confusing.

It focuses quite a lot on PTSD following the Great War, and deals with compassion and forgiveness and acceptance. I liked the message that it was probably trying to portray, and this aspect was done really well. I think if the ending had been a bit more captivating it would've received a higher rating. I loved the magical realism in it, and I did love the relationship between Michael and Miss Williams, so I'll be giving it 3 stars.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the eBook in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?