03 July

3 July 1920

2 Portland Villas, Hampstead - London

Mander Review Cont...

But these serve nothing but to increase our impatience with Miss Mander. Why is her book not half as long, twice as honest? What right has she to bore her readers if she is capable of interesting them? It would be easy to toss The Story of a New Zealand River aside and to treat it as another unsuccessful novel, but we have been seeking for pearls in such a prodigious number of new books that we are forced to the conclusion that it is useless to dismiss any that contain something that might one day turn into a pearl. What is extremely impressive to the novel reviewer is the modesty of the writers - their diffidence in declaring themselves what they are - their almost painful belief that they must model themselves on somebody. We turn over page after page wondering numbly why this unknown he or she should go through the labour of writing all this down. They cannot all of them imagine that this book is going to bring them fame and fortune. And then - no, not always, but a great deal more often than the cultivated public would believe - there is a sentence, there is a paragraph, a whole page or two, which starts in the mind of the reviewer the thrilling thought that this book was written because the author wanted to write. How is this timidity to be explained, then? One would imagine that round the corner there was a little band of jeering, sneering, superior persons ready to leap up and laugh if the cut of the new-comer's jacket is not of the strangeness they consider admissible. In the name of the new novel, the new sketch, the new story, if they are really there, let us defy them. [Review of The Story of a New Zealand River by Jane Mander,[New Zealand novelist (1877-1949).] Athenaeum, [The Athenaeum was a literary magazine, published in London from 1828-1921 and edited by Murry from 1919 to 1921.] 9 July 1920] [Review of The Story of a New Zealand River by Jane Mander, Athenaeum,  9 July 1920]