An excerpt from The North American Review, Volume 215: NOVEL-WRITING, despite some signs to the contrary, makes real progress as an art; but it is t often that the new art is combined with the old magic so effectively as in A. S. M. Hutchinson's If Winter Comes. There is thing experimental in this vel; it is written with a sure hand. Any dissatisfaction we may be inclined to feel with the modern vel of ideas, or with the too artful drama of other modern vels, is prevented from the outset in Mr. Hutchinson's book. Nor, if we fear to encounter the engaging, rambling method of a De Morgan, or the daintily discursive manner of a Locke, do we find even these slight apprehensions justified. Yet Mr. Hutchinson's vel is a subtly contrived, artfully dramatic vel of the modern school; it is entertainingly casual and discursive in manner; it is a vel with an idea-and in addition it has practically all the sure-fire effects of a story by Dickens! Now what is the secret of this extraordinary success? How does Mr. Hutchinson manage to write a vel every line of which is good, and t one word of which is precious or unnecessary? So far as a limited critic's analysis may discover, this unusual result depends mainly on two factors. Consider, first, the author's approach to his subject. Mr. Hutchinson is profoundly interested in the mystery of life itself-and what else should a velist write about? In the present story, he seems to have got hold of this mystery by one of the right handles. He does far better with it than he did in The Happy Warrior. In the earlier story he appeared to be dealing with mere fortuity, or even with a whimsical fate. One had times of feeling that the author was dramatically amusing himself, or else that he was saying, like Thomas Hardy, This kind of thing does happen: make the best or the worst of it. And these two misinterpretations got in the light of the true idea of the story-Wordsworth's idea about the Happy Warrior, or Solon's idea that you can never judge a man happy until you kw how he died. This consideration, together with something derivative from George Borrow and a little unreal in the Gipsy passages, made The Happy Warrior something less than an entire success. One could t help feeling that the author had t wholly succeeded in saying in that book what he really wanted to say about the wonder of life. But in If Winter Comes Mr. Hutchinson approaches the mystery t through the single avenue of a tricksy fate or that of an average probability, but through various paths. Everywhere we are subtly impressed with the immense and secret significance of our lives. Old Mr. Fargus expresses it in his life, in his ideas about chess, in his death; young Perch expresses it; old Mrs. Perch expresses it; they both express it in that strange Dickens-like and yet un-Dickens-like scene at old Mrs. Perch's deathbed. Lady Tybar feels it in her most irresponsible moments. In fact, we all feel it, though we do t express it. The people of this story do express it continually, scarcely kwing that they do, and without straining for it in the least. This is art.