29 JUNE 1912, Page 38

The Fly in the Ointment. By Frances Hammond. (Chapman and

Hall. (is.)—A careful study of is girl who with every worldly advantage is cut off from a woman's natural life by a slight

deformity. What, however, strikes the reader as a much greater misfortune even than the deformity is Theodora Hope's absolute lack of congenial relations. The "fly " of the title should cer- tainly have been put in the plural, as the second drawback to Theodora's happiness is even More seriatim than the first. It is bard to believe in any one quite so wicked as Theodora's father, nnd that he should have transmitted all his horrible qualities to a small child who is only a collateral relation seems unnecessarily Cruel. The book is interesting from its studios of character, and the portrait of Paul Egerton, who was as " infirm of purpose" as the Reuben of the Scriptures, is specially well done.