There are few recent American stories which combine as well as this does the interest of tense situation, sound character depiction, and straightforward, direct writing. The self-willed and imperious heroine who commits the manslaughter that gives the book its title is not spared in order to make her attractive, and yet one feels that she has fine traits and feelings despite her outstanding faults. Particularly interesting is the account of her life in prison and the way in which knowledge of the poor and unfortunate brings her to a true conception of life and breaks down finally her passionate and revengeful spirit. The court scene in the book is one of the best we have ever read and is free from the blunders which too often make such themes in fiction absurd to those who know about criminal law.
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