These stories are excellently written and excellently observed. Like much
good American fiction, for all their virtues they lack impetus and energy : they exhibit a resolute and even-minded disillusionment. They are likely, therefore, to become tedious if read in mass ; but, if each one is con- sidered by itself, the reader will be astonished by the know- ledge of character and psychology that they contain. " The Grandmother " is perhaps the best ; it is a study of the pretences and subterfuges by which an old woman, who lives in rotation in the homes of her dull and selfish children, manages to persuade herself that her life is romantic and that she is to be envied for the brightness of her old age.