5 JUNE 1909, Page 28

Olive in Italy. By Moray Dalton. (T. Fisher Unwin. 6i.)—

The first book that a binder binds is sure to be pretty badly done. 'Why should it be the case that the first novel which a writer writes—this volume belongs to the "First Novel Library "— should so often he good P We do not wholly like Olive in Italy ; we sometimes come across a scene which we could wish away ; but there is some very good work in it. The theme is familiar ; a young woman seeks to make her own living, with the difficulty of being exceptionally good-looking, but the surroundings are unfamiliar. The scene of her endeavour is Italian. First in Siena, then in Florence, finally in Rome, she teaches English, if any one wishes to learn ; she sits, a last resource, as a model. The struggle is painful ; sometimes it hurts us to read of it. But there are light's to compensate these shadows. The study of the artist Camillo is one of them; that of the Transteverina Rosira is another.