Author: Gay Daly Category:

Coming soon!

“Rare enough is the chance to breathe, taste, smell and feel the experience of life during World War I. Rarer still a female life, first at the edge and then at the very heart of that war. Rarest of all is Miss Havilland’s intimate exploration of the casualty toll of war upon those who walk away from it. Grab that chance.”
—Gary Smith, author of Beyond the Game: Collected Sports Writing of Gary Smith, four-time winner of the National Magazine Award.

Spanning both world wars and crisscrossing the U.S. and the Atlantic, Miss Havilland, by Gay Daly, is the story of a brilliant mathematician who must decide her purpose in life—and live with her difficult choices. 

Inspired by the true story of the author’s tough-minded, six-foot-tall cousin, the story begins in California at the turn of the twentieth century, when a female student of mathematics was a rare curiosity.  With the U.S. entering World War I, the fictional Evelyn Havilland is drafted by the government to go to Washington D.C. to become one of the first women involved in cryptography and military spycraft.

Compelled to wartime France to follow the man she loves, Miss Havilland ends up working in dangerous conditions near the front lines. Daly conveys the poignancy of Miss Havilland’s passion in the midst of so much violence, and her ability to find charm in life despite suffering.

In time, the events of the war force Miss Havilland to choose between her closest childhood companion and the man who wants to marry her. While one man faces a lifetime of recovery from the ravages of war, the other bides his time waiting for her decision.

Gay Daly was among the first class of women undergraduates at Yale, graduating summa cum laude in 1971, and staying for graduate school. After teaching at a number of universities, Daly left academics to pursue a career as a writer. While working as a fact-checker and reporter at People, she wrote the book Preraphaelites in Love, a history of seven women who modeled for Victorian painters and then married them. Later, while raising her daughters with her husband, the editor Jay Lovinger, Daly worked as a senior editor at Discover. Miss Havilland is her first novel.