A correctly titled book- of three fragmentary stories- presumably to be joined to a fourth, and/or coordinated into a whole. This reflects the prestige and spirit of a literary light, which through her observation and learning projected a definite quality in American letters, and which- through the later years-slackened off in reality but still maintained a fineness of feeling if not creativeness. Here, with The Old Beauty, The Best Years, and Before Breakfast, is the simplicity of her art, the elimination of nonessentials, and- following her later writing, the decorous, even conservative shades in the field in which she chose to write. Here too is her redirection to Henry James, in the objective exploration of characters in a social milieu- the title story of an English beauty who outlived her era; her absorption in her personal background in the setting of a Nebraska schoolteacher, who lost her life in the great blizzard; and an embodiment of a mood in the third- a successful business man who has not found any of the answers. A conscientious and serious writer, this collection is offered posthumously to old readers, and to a younger market who will be able to get the essence if not the more robust attributes of her art.