26 JULY 1919, Page 21

The Peak of the Load. By Mildred Aldrich. (Constable. 5s.

net.)—Miss Aldrich, who described her early impressions of the war in A Hilltop on the Marne and its sequel, relates her experiences from April, 1917, to July, 1918, in this highly interesting book. She makes us realize, in her letters to her American kinsfolk, the intensity of the strain which France had to bear through those critical months, and the corresponding moral relief caused by the arrival of the American troops, She gives a pitiful account of the refugees from the Soissons district who passed by her house after the enemy offensive of May, 1918. She tells Us of the incessant bombing and shelling of Paris through the spring and summer. In June, 1918, the Government asked all strangers to leave Paris and the war zone, in view of a possible bombardment of Paris if Compiegne fell ; but the author took the risk and stayed in her house. The French, who lived through four and a half years of horror, may well ask for guarantees against a repetition of the German crime.