‘A charming diary of life with a tame magpie – despite George’s bad behaviour, it will render corvid lovers (like me) green with envy!’ Katherine May, author of Wintering
A Times Best Book to Watch out for in 2023
A Guardian Books highlight for the year ahead
Then, just in time, before I swung the spade again, I saw, right by the blade and camouflaged by the leaves on the ground, a magpie chick. It squatted belligerently, peering up at me with miniature magpie fury. George.
When Frieda Hughes moved to the depths of the Welsh countryside, she was expecting to take on a few projects: planting a garden, painting and writing her poetry column for the Times. But instead, she found herself rescuing a baby magpie, the sole survivor of a nest destroyed in a storm – and embarking on an obsession that would change the course of her life.
As the magpie, George, grows from a shrieking scrap of feathers and bones into an intelligent, unruly companion, Frieda finds herself captivated – and apprehensive of what will happen when the time comes to finally set him free.