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The New York TimesLouis Auchincloss's moral fable The Scarlet Letters has quiet virtues that one of its own characters might admire. It is amiable, intelligent and forthright, with a lucid overview of the privileged world it surveys. It is also admirably trim and concise, populated by well-drawn figures raised to follow well-known rules.
If these are not automatically the most electrifying of attributes, they are nonetheless great assets here. Mr. Auchincloss has an enveloping story to tell and a perfect, understated knowledge of those who inhabit it. — Janet Maslin