In "A Woman's Reason," Howells has given us a study of a few eventful years of a woman's life, characterized by his unequalled knowledge of the mysterious working of woman's mind and heart, and told with great power and truth to nature. The environment - so important a feature in the methods of the école naturaliste - is perfect: the whole story is redolent of Boston, and the account of the sale by auction of Mr. Harkness's house which the reader is at first inclined to regard as an interpolated incident, but which is afterwards found to be a step in the logical development of events, is one of the best bits of humorous description of American life that have ever been written.
-The Fortnightly Review, Vol. 40 
Mr. Howells is, beyond question, one of the most charming romance writers in the English language, on either side of the Atlantic, and "A Woman's Reason" deserves to rank with the best of his productions. The plot, simple, but sufficiently romantic, is well-developed, the characters are all consistent creations, each one thinking, acting and speaking as such people would in real life. The dissection of the human mind and heart is performed with extraordinary skill and firmness of touch. In truth fineness is Mr. Howells' distinguishing characteristic, and, as we have already had occasion to remark, his tendency is to carry it to a fault. Sometimes it is shown in the moral tone of some of his personages in whom a sort of morbid and fantastic scrupulousness takes the place of simple, straightforward, uprightness; oftener it appears in a certain sensitive self-consciousness, which causes some of his most charming presentments of American young ladyhood to appear captious, unamiable and almost ill-bred, in their intercourse with Englishmen. The adventurous parts of the story are shortly and simply told, but with considerable power. The descriptions of the Atolls in the Pacific are good samples of the power of words to convey scenic effects.
-The Westminster Review, Vol. 121 
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