A Kestrel For A Knave by Barry Hines

About the book

Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a troubled teenager growing up in the small Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley. Treated as a failure at school, and unhappy at home, Billy discovers a new passion in life when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk. Billy identifies with her silent strength and she inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can, discovering through her the passion missing from his life. Barry Hines’s acclaimed novel continues to reach new generations of teenagers and adults with its powerful story of survival in a tough, joyless world.

Reviewed by Andover Library Reading Group:

Although a number of people found this book rather bleak and sad, some of us loved the poetry of the writing. We were very sympathetic with the main character and optimistically hoped that he woke to a brighter future than ‘down the pit’.

Star rating: ***

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2 thoughts on “A Kestrel For A Knave by Barry Hines”

  1. Review by Tuesday Afternoon Basingstoke group:
    An excellent book, very well written. An uncomfortable read at times but the language descriptions and characterisation were so well crafted. Evocative atmosphere and very convincing use of the local dialect.
    Star rating: ****


  2. Review by Perspective Book Group
    Well written and poignant book. Drew you into the life of Billy and the harsh realities of that period. Recommended.
    Star rating : ****


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