8 APRIL 1876, Page 22

The Gwillians of Bryn - Giant - an. (Smith, Elder, and Co.)—To speak (mite

frankly, this is a very disagreeable story. Grace Gwillian relates her own biography, and tells us a dismal tale of a childhood and youth -made wretched by all kinds of evil influences. Foremost among these is the hideous figure of Miss Tidy, the governess to whom Mr. Gwillian's miserable children are committed after their mother's death, a savage and drunken creature, such as may indeed exist, but scarcely such, we should hope, as could be put and kept in such a place. Then there is a scarcely less odious character in the Evangelical aunt, Mrs. Cardew, -compared to whom her worldly and selfish husband is as an angel of light. And then there is the worst of all possible brothers in Hubert Gwillian. In truth, we have seldom seen really clever writing spent for so little result., either of pleasure or profit. We can bear a sorrow- ful tale when there seems to be a purpose for the sorrow. This the novel before us seems to lack. Its moral lies, we suppose, in showing what troubles may come from the selfishness of such a father as Mr. Owillian. But there are episodes of the most distasteful kind which have no particular bearing on this subject. On the other hand, there is some good, vigorous writing, and not a little humour in the book. We -.quite hope to meet the author again, and to give her a kinder greeting.