It is hard to credit the author of THE GENTLE SPIRIT, with its amazingly wise and balanced portrayal of the members of a family over several generations, with so bitter a portrayal of a character as she has given here. Amazingly well-done, powerful, sure, -- and yet the reader resents disliking anyone so whole-heartedly as one must dislike Julius, from the moment when he drowns his beloved kitten, to the end of his life, when he strangles his idolized daughter. He epitomizes the bad qualities of a self-made man whose god is gold and possession, whose demon is an utter lack of any human sympathy. An adroit handling of an unpleasant theme -- almost suggesting Julian Green. Not a book for wide sales.