Note: I received an audiobook ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Alice Miller
Pub Date: June 2nd 2020
Listening length: 9h23′
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 as zeppelins stalk overhead and bombs bloom against the skyline. Amidst the chaos, Georgie finds purpose tending to injured soldiers in a makeshift hospital, befriending the wounded and heartbroken Lieutenant Pike, who might need more from her than she is able to give. At night with Yeats, she escapes these realities into an even darker world, becoming immersed in The Order, a clandestine society where ritual, magic, and the conjuring of spirits is practiced and pursued. As forces—both of this world and the next—pull Yeats and Georgie closer together and then apart again, Georgie uncovers a secret that threatens to undo it all. (from Goodreads)
I admit I didn’t know anything about Yeats when I requested this book – I knew who he was, of course, but nothing more than that. However, I was fascinated by the description of the book, it seemed so mysterious and interesting.
It was really nice listening to this audiobook. I think the narrator’s voice is really soothing and her tone suits the story really well. Additionally, speaking from the perspective of a non-native English speaker, it was really easy to understand what she was reading and I could even listen to her at 1.5x or 2x speed without any problem.
This book basically tells the story of Georgie Hyde Lees, a young woman who works as a nurse during World War I. She’s an interesting character, I found her to be relatable, as she’s really naive and still wants to believe in what she thinks is the truth even though the people around her try to scold her and bring her back down to earth.
I really liked Lieutenant Pike’s characters; I think my absolute favorite chapters were the ones narrated from his perspective. While Georgie’s perspective was at times tiresome for her extreme naivety, it was just so interesting to dive into Pike’s mind, his war memories, his past and his thoughts. He definitely was my favorite character.
Georgie’s obsession with wanting to talk with dead people and the story revolving around Yeats, on the other hand, fell a bit flat for me and that’s a pity because more than half of this book actually revolves around the poet and the secret Order they are in. My interest sparked whenever the topic was Georgie’s growth as a person and her exploration of herself, her limits and her capabilities, and in the same way my interest died whenever they would talk about Yeats’ life, his poems or about the meetings of the Order and similar things.
All in all, it was an enjoyable read, but I also find it to be quite forgettable. I admit I would be surprised if after a few months I’ll still remember anything about this book at all. However I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook before bed: both the narrator’s voice and the plot were very calming and relaxing. I woud recommend it to anyone who is searching for a slow-paced read and anyone who likes historical fiction, realistic fiction and introspective novels.
My rating: 3/5 stars