5 DECEMBER 1885, Page 24

Christmas Angel. By B. L. Farjeon. Illustrated by Gordon Browne.

(Ward and Downey.)—As a rule, stories which depend for their interest on dreams or visions, or on some sort of super- natural machinery, are not to be commended. If the fact is con- cealed from us, and we find at the end that we have been reading a -dream, we feel that we have been taken in, and shut up the book with a sense of justifiable resentment ; if, on the other hand, the dreaming, as in the present instance, begins at an early stage of the narrative, the want of verisimilitude, the consciousness that what is being described could not possibly have happened, is apt to mar our enjoyment and, possibly, to rouse our disgust. But Mr. Farjeon manages the matter so well, his constructive skill is so great, his diction so excellent, and his moral so good, that his moving story is -as interesting as if it were possible. And to uncritical readers, above all to the young for whom the book is doubtless chiefly intended, -Christmas Angel will be as real as if it were true ; and few, whether young or old, will read it without being touched by its pathos and bettered by its teaching..