by Louis Auchincloss.Houghton Mifflin, $3.00.
Mr. Auchincloss (whose stories have appeared in the Atlantic) is one of the few authors in America who write about what is left of Society without snobbery, caricature, or righteous indignation. This second novel of his — the first appeared under a pseudonym is the story of Sybil Rodman who, as a girl, is a misfit in the social world to which she belongs; she prefers history to parties, and her painful shyness rapidly discourages young men. To everyone’s astonishment, she makes the matrimonial catch of the season. But a few years later her husband strays into an affair; they separate; and presently Sybil becomes the subject of scandalous gossip. The course she eventually chooses is the kind of mature compromise which occurs more frequently in life than in contemporary fiction.
This is a civilized novel, neither powerful nor profound, but thoroughly adult, well-written, and with an individuality of its own.