A place of shadows, of bewildering unreality; such does this world appear to the disembodied spirit. The poor "ghost" who in his lifetime fixed his affections and desires here, who had 'no spiritual life while in the flesh, cannot tear himself away from what he loved, and hovers around the scenes of his former activities. He is unprepared for any kind of existence that is not material, and yet in his incorporeal state everything that he once thought real has become for him immaterial, a "grey world" in which he cannot be seen, or heard, or touched, in which he has no point of contact, mental or physical. The "spiritual pauperism" is the subject of Miss Underhill's exceptionally well-written and interesting story. She begins by describing the death of a little street boy in hospital, his passage "beyond", and his desolation among the myriads of restless spirits outcast alike from the warm comfortable busy world where their affections are, and from the company of those who find nothing strange or miserable in freedom from material ties. Miss Underhill wisely leaves alone theological doctrines of purgatory and of a future state. She merely puts forward her own theory of what constitutes the chief suffering of the worldly after death -- spiritual destitution. The first two chapters are quite admirable, full of pathos, humor, and most unusual skill in the presentation of the supernatural and mysterious. The rest of the book though clever and entertaining is of more ordinary texture, her theory is rather vaguely and unsatisfactorily worked out. The slum-child is reincarnated as the son of respectable well-to-do middleclass parents, but carries with him a remembrance of his experience as a ghost, that makes him uncomfortable in purely material surroundings. Finally, the author leaves him inaugurating his spiritual training in solitude on the Sussex downs, physically occupied 'with artistic bookbinding, and devoutly worshipping nature.
--The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, Vol. 99