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More Miracle Than Bird

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  103 reviews
On the eve of World War I, twenty-one-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees—on her own for the first time—is introduced to the acclaimed poet W. B. Yeats at a soirée in London. Although Yeats is famously eccentric and many years her senior, Georgie is drawn to him, and when he extends a cryptic invitation to a secret society, her life is forever changed.  

A shadow falls over London a
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 2nd 2020 by Tin House Books
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Average rating 3.19  · 
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Katie B
2.5 stars

I guess I went into this one with high expectations because I've had a good run of historical fiction reads lately. This one unfortunately fell flat as hardly anything seemed to click with me. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this one more had I known anything about W. B. Yeats and his wife before reading. They didn't seem to come alive on the pages and to be quite honest I was bored for so much of the story.

Georgie Hyde-Lees is twenty-one years old when she first meets poet W. B. Yeats. E
Martie Nees Record
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Tin House Books
Pub. Date: June 2, 2020

This book’s unusual title is from a line in the poem, “Sailing to Byzantium,” by William Butler Yeats. The novel’s setting is in England on the eve of WWI. The book is marketed for fans (and I am one) of Paula McLain’s female fictional memoir, “The Paris Wife.” I have enjoyed other novels written in this manner, such as “The Aviator's Wife” by Melanie Benjamin. In both novels, the author blurs the li
Joan Happel
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This work of historical fiction depicts the life of Georgiana Hyde-Lees, who married the writer W. B. Yeats. Set in 1916 England during WWI, Georgiana has moved to London and taken a job as a nurse's aide in order to escape her over-bearing mother as well as to pursue her interest in mysticism, the arts, and Yeats himself. In a time where women without independent means have few life choices, Georgiana is looking for a way to achieve a level of independence. She is attracted to Yeats and feels t ...more
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-netgalley
This was a book about the life and pursuits of Georgie Hyde-Lees who was the eventual wife of the famous poet W.B. Yeats in England during WWI the years 1915-1917. Miller has a knack for showing each character's personality and quirks, so it made me want to keep reading to see what would happen next.

Georgie goes to London to escape living with her overbearing mother after the death of her endearing father to work in a small hospital caring for some wounded soldiers. While there, she meets Offic
Mary Eve
Oh, my goodness, me! Oh my. WHAT did I just read? How I got through this reading is a story in itself. I don't get this author's odd way of telling a story. Awfully disjointed. It's like everything starts in the middle and the reader is supposed to get events that happened beforehand. It feels like starting a movie an hour into the script. Georgie Hyde-Lees (wife of W.B. Yeats) has the oddest ideas...and quite possibly a drinking habit that distorts her reality. Alice Miller claims to have found ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, netgalley
“Every one interprets everything in terms of his own experience. If you say anything which does not touch a precisely similar spot in another man's brain, he either misunderstands you, or doesn't understand you at all.”
~Aleister Crowley

That is how I felt about this novel. Well written, complex characters. Lots of stuff going on. And yet..... I did not like a single person in this story. Well, I liked Pike.
And Pike was that person who will come into your life when you don’t expect it
Stephanie Crowe
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I know very little about W.B. Yeats personal life. He certainly was an Irish poet of renown but there certainly was much more to discover regarding his life. Miller has pursued some of his personal life especially how he came to marry Georgie Hyde-Lees. Yeats was much older than Georgie and eccentric but she was still attracted to him. They also were both involved in a secret society which strove to communicate with the spirit world. And all of this was happening at the beginning of WWI. A fasci ...more
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I was so excited when I heard about it and even more thrilled when I got an advance reader copy from Tin House. I love W.B.Yeats, he is my favorite poet of all time, and finding out that his wife may have been behind some of his poems was so intriguing to me. That's how this book was marketed but it couldn't be further from the story. Instead of a powerful force behind a man's success, Georgie is a recovering rich girl constantly flip-flopping between men and i ...more
Kell Andrews
I wanted more W.B. Yeats. He's not on the page enough. ...more
Richard Schaefer
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Miller wisely keeps the focus on Georgie, who is, after all, the point of the book. Anyone who cares about the life of Yeats already knows about the life of Yeats, but what of the wife who was roughly 20 years his junior, an occultist who channeled spirits that inspired his greatest poems? Their love story is an unusual one (he spends most of the book courting other women), but one that history has proven was ultimately a successful one.

So does the author stay the path and do the characters just
Tory Turello | readtowander
May 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
2.5 stars!
I had high expectations for this historical fiction novel based on the life of Irish poet W.B Yeats through the eyes of his young girlfriend, Georgie Hyde-Lees. She is enamored by him from the ripe, young age of 21 and is taken on an emotional rollercoaster throughout the first World War. He even introduces her to the occult known as The Order, a secret society involved with seances and speaking to those who have passed on. She gets a job in a hospital for wounded officers, where she m
Barred Owl Books
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am having difficulty with the main character, so smart, but not emotionally intelligent and regularly makes wrong choices. It is a good piece of historical fiction and does a wonderful job transporting you to the era and I love all of the side stories related to spirits. Overall a good read and enjoyable.
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about the life of Georgie Hyde-Lees who became the wife of the famous poet W.B. Yeats in WWI.
Going into this book, just judging by the cover and its name, it was completely different from what I thought it was going to be.
Georgie is an inquisitive woman, she enjoys poetry, psychics and seances. She also works as a Nurse in a Small Hospital caring for soldiers.
She falls in love and she has men fall in love with her, for the era she is strange and different, but I like her.
Also I'
Kathleen Flynn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Jack
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: p-2020, historical
Two Stories

Audiobook Review:
I absolutely adored the narrator of this book. I listened to it late at night, and her voice was soothing to listen to. She made each character sound unique and come alive. I am a fan of historical fiction. I love it when authors explore real life in a fictional way. I've always been a fan of WB Yeats but never had a sense of his personal life other than what is expressed in his poems. Unfortunately, this book did not work for me. It actually seems like it is two book
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Georgie Hyde-Lees is searching for adventure, purpose, and love. A translator and writer, she moves to London in the middle of the First World War to tend to the wounded in a makeshift hospital while also immersing herself in a secret occult society and seeking connection with the spirit world. This shared interest brings her into the circle of her future husband W. B. Yeats and his pseudo-apprentice, the poet Ezra Klein.

A sweeping tale of the life of the intellectual elite in London, frequentin
Historical Fiction has often been analogous to lima beans to me, I’ll read it, but often times I roll my eyes, seeing the author’s next move, the routine a pointless excuse to review the well-trodden past. However, Alice Miller’s More Miracle Than Bird was truly a marvel. Set during World War 1, Miller details the courtship of William Butler Yeats and Georgia Hyde-Lees.

Miller’s characters truly come to life and at every turn I was surprised by the next action, literally up to the second to the l
Lolly K Dandeneau
via my blog:
𝙄𝙩 𝙛𝙚𝙡𝙩 𝙨𝙤 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙚’𝙨 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙝𝙚𝙧.

More Miracle Than Bird tells the story of Georgie Hyde- Lee’s life changing love for the great poet W.B. Yeats. Always hungry for more, anxious to have to chance to learn important, meaningful things she decides to travel to Italy with her beautiful friend Dorothy. This as her parent’s are once again having problems and her father has been ‘booted out’ of the family home. An
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! It was fascinating to read about the life of Georgie Hyde-Lees, the wife of Irish poet W. B. Yeats. I applaud Miller for uncovering the history of this fascinating woman, but I would love to have known where she got her information from — I can only assume that the final version of the novel will have an Author’s Note, Bibliography, and Acknowledgements, but my Advance Reader’s Copy did not, leaving me to feel like something was missing in my understanding of the line ...more
Jessica B.
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina Rae
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
So. I really loved this book!! I don’t tend to read a ton of historical fiction (though I don’t know why??? I always end up loving whatever I read) and I don’t know a ton about Yeats or honestly even this time period. But I really, really engaged with this book.

It’s a really interesting, compelling story. I was particularly interested in the parts where Georgie works in the hospital. (That definitely also gave me some Garp vibes!) As well as everything pertaining to the war since I don't really
Peter Butler
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
In 1911, Georgie Hyde-Lees briefly met W. B. Yeats. They were to meet again and marry soon after.

More Miracle Than Bird is a “reimagining” (as one reviewer on the cover states) of the courtship and first year of marriage between Georgie Hyde-Lees and W. B. Yeats. The novel begins in 1916 as war is breaking out, but spends most of its time in 1917, during which their courtship and marriage mostly occurred. She was twenty-five and he was fifty-two.

Georgie was working in a hospital caring for wo
Patricia Bello
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
More Miracle Than Bird by Alice Miller

3 stars. And one of the stars is for the excellent audio book narrator.

I don’t even have a quote picked out for this book. Only the voice of the narrator kept me going.

The book is a biographical fiction account of the wife of WB Yeats. Much in the lines of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Other Einstein. And it is described as a sweeping historical drama. It is historical and has drama. But sweeping? Meh. And the drama? All in Georgie’s head.

She’s silly and tir
Garrett Zecker
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Alice Miller’s More Miracle Than Bird is a fast read. The book copy suggests that it tells the story of Georgie Hyde-Lees' complicated relationship with WB Yeats, but in actuality that only encompasses a small portion of the novel and it seems to be more of a fast paced, eventful novel about one woman’s navigation of her station in life, her desire to be accepted by a secret society and men in general, and navigate the war years in a whirlwind of bizarre manners and strange coincidences that kee ...more
Anika  | Chapters of May
More Miracle Than Bird is an intriguing novel surrounding a secret society in during WWI. Georgie Hyde-Lees is only twenty-one years old when she meets W. B. Yeats, who introduces her to a whole underworld of mysteries.

The author has a brilliant writing style, that’s engaging and enjoyable. It’s evident a significant amount of research went into refining the book’s details. And I really appreciate how factual it feels, especially for a work of fiction. I really like the deep dive into Georgie’s
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, audio-book
What would you do if you found a hole in the wall that led to another world? Would you go through it?
... What about if there was a dead body in front of the door and it appeared that the body had locked the door to prevent itself from going through it (or from something coming in)?

I would like to think that I would ignore it--- but then I wouldn't be reading this book. OF COURSE I would go through the door.

And if you would too, with the knowledge that there is a DEAD BODY blocking the door-- t
Zoe Miller
I love this book. I love it because so many of the themes are in the subtext. The limitations of gender, class, status, relationship status, struggles with family of origin- all are present- but lie underneath everything, simmering under the surface. I love it because even though it was set in a different time, Georgia the main character is so relatable, shes kind, shes serious, but shes imperfect, she makes foolish decisions- that I'm sure all of us have made- and we are able to stay with her t ...more
Raine McLeod
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviews
This is a book about Georgie Hyde-Lees (later Yeats, after she married twice-her-age-ew W.B. Yeats) in which nothing really happens. I don't know enough about her to know how much is fictionalised re: her work, and she's not super well-developed until close to the end. It feels like the author couldn't decide if she wanted to make a commentary on Georgie herself, what things were like during and after World War I, or if she was using Georgie to talk about W.B. Yeats and weird occult stuff, so it ...more
Jill Reads
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
"More Miracle Than Bird" is a historical fiction book that introduces us to a young Georgie Hyde-Lees as she navigates her 20's in England during WWI. By day, she works in a hospital, tending to bedpans and patients injured from the war. By night, she joins a Secret Society and studies how to talk to the dead.

Oh, and she's in love with W.B. Yeats, the poet, who is twice her age. Half of the story is about whether or not he'll finally "see" her.

The story weaves back and forth from her days and n
Jelke Lenaerts
May 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a galley of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

This just wasn't very interesting. There just wasn't really much of a plot to this book besides the romance, which wasn't done well either. I just didn't really feel any chemistry between these two characters. There was more chemistry between her and Pike and that was more of an unrequited lust rather than anything else. The characters felt a bit one dimensional as well, that might be why none of the romance w
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Alice Miller is the author of the novel, More Miracle than Bird and the poetry collections, Nowhere Nearer and The Limits. She grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, and currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

Alice is a graduate of the International Institute of Modern Letters and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Glenn Schaeffer Fellow.

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