20 MARCH 1915, Page 24

Boger Ingram. By Margaret Westrup. (Methuen and Co. 68.)—Miss Westrup

is a clever writer, and her work is always interesting; but it does acorn to us possible that, by failing to be sure of her own intentions, she may fall short of any real achievement, There are two alternative courses Olsen to a writer of fiction ; you can make the interest of your novel chiefly dependent either on its plot or on the psychology and sympathy of its characters. Now Miss Westrup, although it is evident that elm has the power of creating dramatic situa- tions, has definitely renounced the former school of writers; her story moves evenly on, with no especial aim, and very few events to mark its course. So her value as a novelist must be judged by her skill in characterization, and that is, we fear, too uneven to stand the test. Her study of that much mis- used blessing, an "artistic temperament," in the person of Rosamund Carden, is admirable, as is the somewhat priggish and self-eatiefled hero. But we feel almost certain that the writer has never talked intimately with a flower-girl, or studied at first hand that vulgar, good-natured class to which poor Tibbie's parents belong, and she fails utterly in the task of making them convincing. We would, therefore, ask Miss Westrup to consider seriously whether she would not be wiser in allowing us sometimes a little refreshing melodrama.