26 MARCH 1898, Page 26

Perfection City. By Mrs. Orpen. (Hutchinson and Co.)— Perfection City

is the story of a small co-operative community in Kansas. We are introduced to the settlement in the spring of its existence. The story is mainly concerned with the coining of a bride to the settlement, her views on the communistic theory, and her adventures on the prairie. Olive, the young bride, is one of those charming characters we cannot help loving. The story of her apprenticeship to prairie life and her battles against public opinion is quite pathetic. Prairie life in Kansas is de- scribed with such fidelity that we forget its dreariness. Napoleon Pomey, the negro, and Olive's pet, the puppy, are admirable side figures. The gradual upset of the community is related with considerable skill. It has been founded by a woman who is in love with Olive's husband, hence the final crash when she fails to separate the two. Olive's great ride to save Cotterell, and his trial before a Kansas jury, are powerful pieces of description. Madame Morozoff-Smith, who founds the settlement, is a terrible disappointment when she throws off the mask. But Perfection City is an excellent story, and really a masterly picture of prairie life.