28 SEPTEMBER 1929, Page 26

THE WISE FOOL. By Olive Armstrong. (Benn. 7s. 6d.)— Miss

Armstrong has made the mistake of focusing our atten- tion on an entirely uninteresting and insipid character—a peasant girl who leaves her home in a small town on the Ulster border to take up domestic service, "first in Dublin and then in London. One cannot feel that there is the slightest importance or interest in her trifling experiences with the family of the dreary little Dublin solicitor, in the colourless Anglo-Irish household in London, or in the little snobberies which Miss Armstrong takes so seriously. She has followed this creature at the expense of her one really living character, and that is the slatternly, capricious, and purposeful mother of the girl. Mrs. Mooney ought to have been developed. She has blood in her veins, and her gay and sardonic figure, supreme in smuggling, intrigue, and repartee, puts considerable life into the final chapters when the story returns to the troubles " on the border. The whole is a neat if uninspired little study of the Irish temperament.