Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Lift by Rebecca K O'Connor

Book Info:
Lift by Rebecca K. O'Connor
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Red Hen Press (November 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9781597094603
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: Author for review
Rating: 4/5

The culmination of a ten-year career in falconry, Lift is a memoir that illustrates the journey and life lessons of a woman navigating a man’s ancient sport. Captivated by a chance meeting with a falconer’s peregrine as a child, the indelible memory eventually brings the author’s life full circle to flying a peregrine of her own. Exploring themes of predator and prey, finding tribe, forgiveness and femininity, the memoir asks universal questions through a unique backdrop. Lift illustrates the beauty and meaning the sport of falconry can add to a falconer’s life, echoing the challenges and triumphs of being human.

I've never considered myself a bird person. My mom has birds and for the most part I find them noisy and messy. So when I agreed to review Lift I was hoping for an animal story that was different than the usual "my pet is wonderful story". Lift met, and exceeded, my expectations.

Falconry is a completely new sport to me. The terms of the sport were unfamiliar, but O'Connor worked her explanations into the story so flawlessly that I never felt like she was stepping out of the story to teach me the basics. I appreciated all the explanations, but don't think they would have taken away from the story if you already knew falconry fundamentals.

I also loved the relationship between O'Connor and Anakin, her falcon. I appreciated that the relationship was a partnership built on respect. So many books tend to treat animals as human, and because of this you lose their true nature. O'Connor worked with her falcon, instead of trying to change him.

Whether you are a bird lover or a sportsman, I would recommend Lift. This memoir is a quick, but very informative and interesting read. Lift doesn't just focus on falconry either, but includes personal stories which provide a well rounded story. 4 stars


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I feel bad, I have this one too, but just have not got around to it yet. Great review Melissa -thanks

Zibilee said...

I haven't read anything about falconry, and know almost nothing about it, so it's good to hear that this book would be good for someone as uninstructed as I am. I am glad you liked it and am thinking that it might make a nice and different read than my usual. Great review, I will be looking out for this book.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Sounds like an interesting memoir. Thanks for your comments, they are appreciated!

Bill ;-)

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway: