The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines is a moving meditation on the things that endure in the face of implacable circumstance: art, love, freedom, the persistence of erotic fervor, the indelible beauty of the natural world. It is a perfectly realized creation in which nothing is wasted, in which every sentence resonates in unexpected ways. No one but John Crowley could have written this story. And no one who reads it will forget it, or remain untouched by its quiet, understated force.