6 MARCH 1880, Page 23

A Pink Wedding. By R. Moanteney Jephson. 3 vols. (Bentley.)—

Mr. Jephson gives a certain freshness to the first two volumes of his

novel by laying the scene in Japan. The characters, indeed, are -quite familiar, and even conventional, and the conversation often tedi- ous; but the circumstances are new, and the effect of the whole is -pleasing. In any case, however small the interest he may feel in the story,

-the reader gets a notion of Japanese life ; and this has the advantage of being more remote, if not intrinsically more interesting than life in

Belgravia. But when we get back to England, everything changes deplor-

ably for the worse. The life is not more elevated nor the character less -common-place than before, while every incident is dismally familiar. The "pink wedding," from which the novel derives a most inappro-

priate title, seeing that the chief actors in it are quite subordinate

personages, turns out very ill. Then follow sin and crime, a dismal story, told, we doubt not, with laudable purpose, but not likely, we should think, to work any good. Mr. Jephson writes a "military story," not, indeed, with anything like the vie co»lica of Lever, but still well ; in an effort such as this which we have been noticing, he does not show himself at his best.