THE BIRDS FALL DOWN (1966), West's final novel, was about the Russian Revolution. World politics was not for West a battle between good and evil; her characters could also express great optimistic hopes: "Yes, I've been destroyed. Yes, I'm maimed for life. But for other people, for the whole world, it isn't so. For them life's getting better and better all the time. Look at Russia. It's coming out into the light, every year the sun shines on it more brightly."