"Going Back to Nassau Hall"

"RIVER HOUSE", By Stark Young. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1929. $2.50.

IN his soft and mellow style which is perfectly suited to his subject, Stark Young has again portrayed the aristocracy of the old South and its inability to adjust itself to the new commercial expansion. The plot of the novel, what little of it there is, is centered around a conflict of two strong wills, the father Major Hugh Dandridge, the last of the old southern aristocracy in the district of Le Flore, and his son John, a Princeton graduate.

How the breach between father and son gradually widens until John finally leaves his ancestral home to go north and work in Detroit as a bank clerk is merely the vehicle for the steady development of an atmosphere, which is obviously the author's chief excuse for writing the book. He accomplishes his end well, however, for the reader is left a real understanding of a class of people in the south which is often written about but seldom presented in such a sympathic and clear form.

In spite of certain good qualities in his style and his accurate portrayal of a social order, Mr. Young on the other hand can be accused of tiring the reader at many times during the book with repetition of scenes which add little to the final affect and make what should be a long short story a full sized novel. The characterization is all indirect and is best in the presentation of the Major's two maiden sisters, who command at the same time the reader's respect and his pity.