THE THRESHOLD, by Michael Stapleton (New Authors, 15s.). "THE THRESHOLD" is one of the first publications in the New Authors series, sponsored by the Hutchinson group primarily' to give encouragement to young writers of promise, hut also, by means of a profit-sharing scheme, to make the author feel in partnership with his publisher. It is the story of Michael Stapleton's boyhood spent first in southern Ireland and then in London during the depression of the thirties, when his father was without work and his mother died. His writing has colour, simplicity and honesty. He did not like his father, and says so; idealised his mother; got on as well as most boss with his brothers; and loved dearly his sister Maud to whose selfless devotion this book is a tribute. He writes of Ireland with that characteristically Celtic tenderness and nostalgia which is at the same time untouched by sentiment.
HIS account of his life in London brings out how easily a highspirited, imaginative boy with no outlet for his energies can turn into a delinquent. Michael Stapleton did not end up in Borstal or any other such place, but he had some narrow escapes. His Catholic education under the auspices of Sister Augustine and Sister Columba, Miss Poole and Mrs. Smollett ("oul' Smelly"), to say nothing of Fr. Hughes, would be amusing were it not for the fact that what he describes is still all too common. There is nothing to indicate that Michael Stapleton lapsed from the Faith, but if he had done so there would have been no need to look beyond these mentors for the reason.