Books: Milky Way

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THE GALAXY — Susan Ertz — Appleton ($2.50).

"Laura Alicia Deverell was born on May l0th, 1862 . . ." in London; and in London she died sometime during the early '20s of the subsequent century. The interim — when dying she looked back on it — seemed "a galaxy of scenes and faces and delights," it even seemed that "some benevolent Censor had been at work and had eliminated all but the events in which she had taken pleasure." To Heroine Deverell, life was such a brilliant chaos. Miss Ertz was wise enough to bring order out of this chaos, with a definite story:

Believing him a "stupid, bigoted man ... to be obeyed no more than necessary," Laura left her father in order to marry one Horace Leighton, not bigoted, not stupid, but a man "one could talk naturally with." Marriage, however, made of Leighton a poor lover save extra-maritally, a worse husband. For the next twelve years Laura felt "lonely, bored, humiliated." Finding a lover in one Arnold Sendler she waited six years more before eloping, so that her children might grow up first. Her husband's death released her, let her make the second union respectable. To Laura, a careless pedestrian, Death came as it must to all such.

Author Ertz is Anglo-American in fact as well as fancy. Bora in England, daughter of two New Yorkers, she now divides her time between London and New York. With Madame Claire (1922), a "gallant old lady," she first won recognition.