2 DECEMBER 1911, Page 11

Redwood Ranch. By Bessie Merchant. (S.P.C.K. 2e. 6d.)— Notwithstanding the

somewhat amateurish adventures of young Oscar Layne this story of an isolated Californian ranch does give the reader a notion of the life led by a settler's family. The characters are natural, and develop just those qualities we expect from their environment. In its essentials the moral of Redwood Ranch is being repeated to-day on every frontier of the Empire. The good man of the house fails to return at the appointed time, the wife assumes an anxiety and a responsibility which a domestia household at home can hardly realize, and the children in their teens go out to face dangers which in the Christmas holidays of the Old Country -brill Tom and Mary between tea and bed time. A fresh, cheerfully written tale this, with something of the scent of the Redwoods in it and sure to interest youthful readers.