1 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 32

BROTHER TO BERT. By Charlotte Haldane. (('hatto and Windus. 7s.

6d.)—Publishers' summaries on book. jackets are not always happy, but the paragraph presumably intended to recommend Brother to Bert must be one of the unhappiest on record. In a few sentences it manages to suggest that Mrs. Haldane has written an unpleasant story to illustrate a scientific theory, and that " to soften its occasional inevitable starkness " she has thrown in " a girl of simple tenderness and exquisite loyalty " as jam with the pill. She has done nothing of the sort. Brother to Bert is a very natural and interesting story, free from all taint of the laboratory, and uncommonly easy to read. Len and Bert are twins, pronounced by the neighbours to be as like as two so-and-so so-and-so peas in a so-and-so so-and-so pod. After a series of juvenile adventures they become vaudeville dancers. The gentle Len is attracted by Lil, a reserved and innocent girl, whom he eventually marries. Bert prefers the attractions of Lottie de Lara, a declining actress. How Lil becomes Len's good angel, winning him from Bert, and saves him from Bert's final disaster, is simply and convincingly told. The story is outspoken, but in a cheerful and natural fashion. It contains no more " unpleasantness " than is implicit in the theme of twins who exploit their resemblance even in their love-affairs, and whose loyalty to one another is stronger than their loyalty to any woman. In fine, a vigorous, tolerant, lively piece of work, none the less attractive for a touch of amateurishness.