'I was moved to tears by Ben Crane's beautiful memoir, Blood Ties. Diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in his 40s, he recounts his struggles to reconnect with the son he thought he had lost' Good Housekeeping.
'A powerful story [...] of the ties that bind us, both to nature and our own families' TLS.
This is a book about a man's relationship with hawks, and his self-education as a falconer, and about his discovery that despite his Asperger's Syndrome, which hampers his normal social interactions, he can forge a loving bond with the young son he thought he had lost. He rediscovers his full humanity through his commitment to the training of falcons and his love of the natural world.
Ben Crane writes with uncanny accuracy and lyrical precision about the intricacies of birds' behaviour and their instincts. He has a ruthless eye for the minute details of natural processes - of plumage, the patterns of flight, of killing, death and decay. He's as clear-eyed about himself and his detachment from ordinary human society as he is about the flight of peregrines and goshawks.
Here is nature writing at its very best, interwoven with an affecting human story and an account of how a man mastered the ancient craft of falconry.