21 JUNE 1913, Page 26

White Witch. By Mend Buchanan. (Herbert Jenkins. 6s.)—There is no

little charm about this story and the manner of its telling. The scene of more than half the book is laid in Austria ; later on we are taken into Kent. There are two girls, daughters of an Austrian noble and his Irish wife, whose characters are strongly contrasted. Eileen is outspoken and selfish ; Marie Bernadine is reserved and unselfish ; she puts a stop to the impending declaration of the desirable Prince who comes to woo her sister, but finds himself attracted to the heroine. She marries an excellent Englishman whose character is not illuminated quite enough for the reader's conviction, though his creator evidently knew that she could trust him with her heroine's happiness. The prince loses both sisters, but finds reconciliationwith his mother in an unexpected, delicately told chapter at the end. The other characters are slight, and some of the threads are not finished off, but the whole gives excellent promise for the future if Miss Buchanan will learn that, though exaggerated reserve on the part of her characters brings about tangles that are useful to the story- teller, it may also imply a lack of trust which is incompatible with the lovers' affection.