BY MARY J.
lieRsctiate An Irish Childhood, by Elizabeth Hamilton (Chatto & Windus. 21s.).
Daughters of the General, by Moira Verschoyle (Hodder & Stoughton. 16s.).
Sister Bollard, by Elizabeth Avery ( Michael Joseph, 15s.).
Isi‘ LI ZABETH HAMILTON ill' makes a sentimental return to Ireland where she was born, and spent the first seven years of her life. She recalls vividly and with great feeling her early memories of Mount John, the 18th-century house in Co. Wicklow. How much this very early life is coloured by imagination or other people's recollections. is immaterial, for after all the obiect of the exercise is not merely a test of memory.
After the Second World War the author once again visits her original home and tries to recapture the remembrances. Although the approach is sentimental and somewhat repetitive, Miss Hamilton's descriptive powers would overcome any of these handicaps.
The backcloth, and it was hardly more than that, to Miss Versch
oyle's earlier book, "Children in Love", was Ireland. In her latest novel Ireland becomes a part of the scene. if not the essence of tho story, which deals with a family of the protestant ascendancy: the old General O'Rourke and his two daughters. the one in love with a member of the Black and Tan, the other with an American reporter of Irish ancestry who takes his newspaper brief beyond its assignment and joins the Sinn Feiners, Miss Verschoyle's style is colourful and she draws her characters clearly although it might be said that this is just another book about the Black and Tan with a liberal mixture of romance.
Elizabeth Avery has obviously had intimate experience of hospital life. for her observations of the details could not have been gained from anything but very close scrutiny. The author's descriptions stand up to the closest examination by anyone who has worked in hospital.
This novel is easy to read. and as might be expected from a story about hospital, full of humanity. Although the opportunity to abandon the life of a ward sister comes to Millicent Bollard more than once, she continues on her chosen path.