13 JANUARY 1906, Page 24

The Red - Haired Woman: her Autobiography. By Louise Kenny. (John Murray.

6s.)—This is a story of an Irish family called O'Curry, and the book may be described rather as a collection of materials than as a finished article. There are many scenes in it which are very interesting, and even thrilling, but there is no cohesion between the different parts of the story. No one episode is of more importance than any other, and there seems no particular reason, except indeed the marriage of the heroine, why the novel should not go on for ever. As it is, the book consists of over four hundred closely printed pages, and it would have been very much improved if some of these pages had been left out. Though there is quite a crowd of characters, only one of them stands out in anything approaching a lifelike manner; the others are on a dead level of indistinctness, and the reader gets no particular idea as to which characters are intended to be of the greatest importance in the story. The one lifelike person is old "Madam O'Curry," and the author has made of this character so great a success that it seems a thousand pities the rest of the book should not be up to the same level of excel- lence. Madam O'Curry's account to her granddaughter of her own wedding is a most picturesque and romantic episode, and indeed there is a great flavour of romance in many parts of the book. The novel is so nearly a success, and yet so unmistakably not successful, that the reader is provoked by the waste of good material.