The Hawkman

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

I was initially drawn to request a copy of The Hawkman by both its intriguing tagline - "A Fairytale of the Great War" and its beautifully intricate cover art.
 
The Hawkman by Jane Rosenberg LaForge is set not long after World War One, the main characters include an Irish Musician/Prisoner of War and an American Writer; personally, I wasn't initially convinced that combination would work as a fairytale but about 40 pages in it had me hooked. The plot is fairly simple and overall it's not the happy ever after fairytale I think people are more accustomed to nowadays; the characters backstories, particularly some of the flashbacks are sharp and brutal but I this adds to...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Beautifully prosaic, richly imagined blend of realism and folklore.

This book intrigued me for the tagline if nothing else - A Fairytale of the Great War. I wasn't sure what to expect, and certainly wasn't expecting to be so spellbound with the story.

It's a tale of two people; Mr Sheehan and Miss Williams. Mr Sheehan is considered the town misfit; he doesn't speak, is filthy dirty, and his yellowing, watchful eyes earn him the nickname of the Hawkman. Miss Williams is an American spinster, who takes the man under her wing, and nurses him gently back to health.

As you might expect, there's a lot more going on here than just a simple 'saviour' tale...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
"The Hawkman" is not a fast-paced suspenseful novel, but is still a page-turner with its exploration of small town politics and the human aftermath of war and culture.
Was this review helpful?

Before I start, I will say that this book wasn’t what I thought it would be, but I did enjoy reading The Hawkman a lot. Let’s take a moment and talk about this gorgeous cover, wow. This cover is beautiful, luring and has a romantic feel to it, I love it.

Jane Rosenberg LaForge created a lovely story with an interesting plot and characters. It took me about a week to read this book, so it was a relatively fast read and the ending of this book was the cherry on top.

The story is set in England after WW1, where two broken people meet and fall in love. The Hawkman is a musician soldier broken from the war and Eva is a teacher who saw that man needs her help. Eva gives the Hawkman a hand when...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

"Bridgetonne was not without other misfits: old maids who, in an earlier time, might have been mistaken for witches, and bachelors who, likewise, would have been called out as warlocks. But by no means was the village haunted."

It seems that books set during the Great War or a few years later have become really fashionable recently. Not that I am complaining because this is a very interesting era but there are many examples of such novels that are more melodramatic than meaningful. Magical Realism is also a trending genre and one of my literary obsessions so "The Hawkman" ticked quite a few right boxes. And although it wasn't perfect, it was really, really good...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
This book is really an adult fairy tale. The straight narrative of Sheehan as a sensitive POW and his emotional drama along with the caring of Miss Williams was quite interesting and emotional. However, the forays into the lyrical story telling and fairy tale aspects of the novel left me a bit bemused. Perhaps I am too “left-brained” to appreciate this part of the writing, the symbolism of which eluded me. I generally enjoyed the book and had a real feeling of the German POW camp during WWI and the British/Irish tension involved in Sheehan’s trauma.
Was this review helpful?
A good novel for the study of irony, beautiful yet brutal imagery, character development, symbolism, and a multi-layered plot structure. If I were an artist, I could paint a collection of works revolving around this work that range from realistic WWI landscapes to cubist, magically realistic, or, perhaps, surreal portraits. I especially enjoyed the subjects of silence/music, homelessness/being an orphan, and charity represented in the relationship between Eva and Michael. At times, the novel felt overwhelming in its saturation of everything I tend to love in literature. Easily a 4.5/5 star read if one or two of the "tales" could be plucked.
Was this review helpful?

Well, for a fairy tale I was lost in this. I didn’t get what was about Mr Sheenan that was intriguing, or any of the characters at all.

Setting it during the twentieth century, was really confusing me. There wasn’t really a solid fluid character to ground me in the story, I cared for none of them.

And to be honest, I forgot that Mr Sheenan existed multiple times. It just felt confusing, and the characters lacked something which allowed me to care for them.

The setting was confusing as well, and at times I wondered what was the point of this. The plot was very much unclear and I didn’t know where it was even going to head, and well the writing didn’t help much. It was lush and gorgeous...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This historical fiction novel taking place after World War I in England conveys its story through metaphor and magical realism that fit into its general framework as a retelling of the Grimm Brother’s story “The Bearskin.” The plot of the Grimm story concerns a young man who “enlisted as a soldier, conducted himself bravely, and was always at the very front when it was raining bullets. As long as the war lasted all went well, but when peace was made he was dismissed…”. It was then the ex-soldier became an outcast, and wandered the world becoming more and more indistinguishable from an animal, until his good-heartedness and magic restored him.

LaForge enlarges the story of “Bearskin” by...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
This is an amazing retelling of the Grimm fairy tale "Bearskin". The author did an amazing job capturing details for the time period this book is set in. She is truly a gifted storyteller.
Was this review helpful?
A unique fairy tale revolving around a woman who writes stories and a pianist turned soldier suffering afyer 4 years as a POW. The story is beautiful as we move from the present day struggles of the two and their individual histories. The style reminder me a bit of The Bear and the Nightingale.
Was this review helpful?

From a world of inhumanity the Hawkman is shown humanity by Miss Williams. She alone seems to reocognise his suffering and strives to help him even though her health is declining. Lord Thornton epitomises the entitled and uncaring face of the commanding class in the pursuit of war, and he obviously finds the presence of this damaged vagrant in His village a threat . Perhaps Miss Williams was drawn to Mr Sheehan because of her damaged upbringing, her stories were her way of making sense of the world. She is
Sheehan's champion and eventually Christopher Thornton comes to understand the responsibilties of his class and society to these broken returning men. Beautifully written , one...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Mrs. Eva Williams is a teacher at a lady's college in England when she meets The Hawkman, a seemingly broken man whom the villagers do not want around. She takes him under her wing to help him. The Hawkman turns out to be more complex than just a beggar on the street. 

The Hawkman by Joane Rosenberg LaForge has a different perspective that I enjoyed. The Hawkman character is not your typical man, and LaForge does a great job presenting him in a different way. Her characters build nicely throughout the book and I was pleasantly surprised with some of the supporting characters changes.
Was this review helpful?

Summary: A man who society is believed to be beyond redemption and less then human is brought back to life by a dying woman. A retelling of The Bearskin by those infamous Grimm Brothers.


What I liked: I didn't just like this story. I loved it. The characters are fleshed out and their backstories are full and rich. The characters are deep and fleshed out. They are whole people that as a reader I truly cared about. This is due to the beauty in which LaForge writes. The cover art is beautiful and relevant to the story.


What I didn't like: Nothing, I can honestly say that this amazingly haunting book ticks all boxes and there isn't anything I didn't like.

Star Rating:...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Golden eyes dulled into silence.

Hounded and ridiculed, he swept up the trailing ends of his long tattered coat attempting to flee from the taunting fever that surrounded him. Scavenging in alleys behind butcher shops. Bruised and battered hands extended in prayerful begging motions. Bird-like scratchings of the earth.

Until she appeared.........

The aftermath of the Great War leaves a pallid and sallow hue blanketing those who have been touched by its worldwide sepsis. The town of Bridgetonne, led by Lord Thorton, attempts to shore up some semblance of normalcy. The women's college prides itself in educating young ladies to enter into a world shattered by war and its uncertainties.
...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?