24 APRIL 1886, Page 23

A Lone Lassie. By J. Jemmett-Browne. (Sampson Low and Co.)

—This is the autobiography of a young lady whose parents alternately desert her and are devoted to her ; however, she generally seems quite competent to take care of herself, succeeds on the stage as a prima donna, and in society as a beauty, and has hairbreadth escapes and admirers in abundance. Most of the people in the book are so well-off in the matter of birth, talents, money, amiability, and high principles, that readers ought really to feel very much obliged to the author for introducing them to such good society, notwithstanding two un- virtuous exceptions in the shape of a remarkably fiendish grandmother and a wicked Italian Duke, whose mesmeric power is almost super- natural enough to call to mind Dumas's picture of Cagliostro in the " Memoires d'un Medicin." Mr. Jemmett-Browne's style is unpreten- tious and not disagreeable, though, perhaps, open to the charge of baldness. He shows a tendency to over-colour by generally repre- senting virtues, vices, talents, personal attractions, &c., in the superla- tive, and he occasionally diverges needlessly into guide-book-like bits of description of the New Forest and Florence. A Lone Lassie is a lively story, easily readable and forgettable, making no demands on

the intellect, and likely to satisfy the requirements of a considerable number of novel-readers, notwithstanding its unnaturalness. For we must say that the plot seems to us excessively improbable, that the characters are not like real people, and that they sometimes speak to one another in a way which is as difficult to suppose true to life as is the ghost-story, which is related with every appearance of being meant to be seriously believed.