BOOKS OF THE WEEK
Valerie Hathaway. Claudius Gregory. Sears. $2.00.
The metaphysical theme upon which this novel is based demands an artist of great ability for its successful presentation. While Mr. Gregory's book is an interesting attempt and a sympathetic effort toward clarity, it falls far short of triumph. It is the love story of a vaudeville team, man and wife. The man, Carl Hathaway, dies, promising his wife he will be with her still, in spirit, even after death. It is the remembrance of this promise and the ability of telepathy which they shared, which create a difficult crisis for Valerie Hathaway when she falls in love with a young artist, Felix Storm.
The pathos of this dramatic struggle is not fully drawn out. Mr. Gregory fails to create for us all the tragedy and struggle of the young widow's effort toward faithfulness to her husband and to the demands of her lover. The author's style is clear, simple, and vivid but the profundity of thought necessary for the development of his central theme is lacking to him and the book never rises above mediocrity. It would take a more sensitive mind and a more delicate artistry to achieve the heights in a novel with such a powerful theme and Mr. Gregory does not have these rare qualities. It is a very readable book, but disappointing because the author does not make most of his beautiful idea.