Arts & Leisure

Book review: More Miracle Than Bird — by Alice Miller

(Tin House Books)
As a young woman whose world is subsumed by the onset of World War I, Georgie Hyde-Lees, in a bid to salvage a sliver of independence, takes a position tending injured officers in a temporary hospital in London while in her free time, she is socializing with her best friend Dorothy, daughter of the novelist Olivia Shakespear and soon-to-be-wife of the expat poet Ezra Pound, and surreptitiously growing closer with the object of her most devoted attention, the renowned Irish poet, W. B. Yeats, known as Willy to their compatriots. Willy invites Georgie into the underground world of the occult, where her sharp mind and her capacity for expansive thought propel her up the chain of command. Georgie is just so interesting, so obstinate, so unsure of her worth, yet she sets her sights on Willy, believing his hazy commitments to her, all the while her friends insisting it’s all nonsense. This is a beautifully told, many-layered, luxuriously intricate story of love and marriage and war, rooted in historical fact, yet never weighed down by that. Georgie, the heroine, the miracle of the tale, ultimately lives the life she wanted, successfully guiding Yeats rather than letting him “wither into foolishness.”
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
 

7 Captivating Historical Fiction Novels of World War I
The Sojourn, by Andrew Krivak
The Winter Soldier, by Daniel Mason
The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn
The Return of the Soldier, by Rebecca West
One of Ours, by Willa Cather
Regeneration, by Pat Barker
Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks

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