Embezzled Heaven

By Franz Werfel
THIS is probably a finer novel than either Forty Days of Musa Dagh or Hearken Unto the Voice, and yet it is only the story of how Teta Linek, a domestic servant, tries to buy her way into heaven. Teta is dowdy, homely, ignorant, shrewd, dogged, and selfish, and she suffers from varicose veins in her legs; of the Christian virtues, she is strong in faith and hope, though, until the very end, distressingly short on love; but she possesses unconquerable courage, unshakable optimism, and terrific intensity of purpose. She exemplifies how remarkably complex a ‘simple soul’ can be. As an idea her history is comic, but in tact it is very moving. She is presented as an exemplification of the power ot faith, — so generally lacking in the world today,— but the reader will remember her, not as an example, but as an amusing, touching, great, humble human being. In the portrait of her, the author has written what looks like a masterpiece.