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.
estions of invitations, manners, Lydia's dress. Again and again Ilseboro had yielded, but yielded with a deliberation that gave no suggestion of defeat. These struggles which go on out of sight and below consciousness in most relations are never decided by the actual event but by the strength of position in which the combatants are left. Benny, for instance, sometimes did the most rebellious things, but did them in a sort of frenzy of panic, followed by unsought explanations. Ilseboro was just the reverse. He yielded because he had a positive wish to adjust himself, as far as possible, to her wishes. Lydia began to be not afraid of him, for like Caesar she was not liable to fear, but dimly aware that his was a stronger nature than her own. This means either love or hate. There had been a few hours one evening when she had felt grateful, admiring, eager to give up; when if she had loved him at all she could have worshiped him. But she did not love him, and when she saw that what he was looking forward to was f
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