16 NOVEMBER 1867, Page 23

lrene's Repentance. By Christian Eyro. Two vols. (Hurst and Blackett.)—This

is one of those domestic stories which are very good in every respect, but very irritating. The author is merciless to both heroine and reader. Irene is a girl of nineteen, fresh from school, and devotedly attached to an elder sister. The family is on the point of going out to India, with a mother whom the girls have not soon for years, to join their father, who is in the same situation. A young man who has a fair appointment in India is going out in the same ship, and as, of course, the first thing thegirls would do on landing would ho to marry, the mother thinks she may accept an offer for Irene before sailing. Introduction, proposal, courtship, trousseau are all over in a week or two, and then Irene is surprised to hear that the marriage is to take place in about the same time. Instead of sailing with her family, she and her husband are to follow in the next ship, and meanwhile she is to be introduced to her husband's family in Scotland. But no sooner does she get to Scotland, and find that her new relations are resolved to snub her and tyrannize over her in every way, than her brutal husband accepts an appointment within two hours of his own home, and Irene is cut off from India, her own family and her favourite sister, getting in exchange her husband's sisters who are loathsome to her, and her hus- band's mother, who will not trust her with tablecloths till she has proved herself worthy of thorn. The novel is thoroughly clever and amusing, but the domestic tragedy is too deep and harrowing. We should like to stifle the mother-in-law with her own tablecloths, and we know of no end that is bad enough for the sisters. Seriously they commit acts from which ladies would shrink, and the husband leaves his wife to herself in a way which is unpardonable, as it is scarcely natural. All comes right at the end, but Irene has our profoundest sympathy.