Putnam's Monthly Magazine
New York: January 1855


  ...—Whether it was the fault of the publishers, or of some indiscreet friends, that Ida May was announced as from the pen of MRS. STOWE,—we cannot say; but that announcement has, no doubt, seriously damaged the public estimation of the work. All who have taken it up, expecting to find a new uncle Tom in it, must have been seriously disappointed. It is not a work without talent; it is conceived with considerable vigor, and executed with ability, but it is so vastly inferior to the novel with which it was brought into relation, that we can hardly read it with patience. The truthfulness of Uncle Tom's Cabin,—the dramatic action; the fine discriminations of character; the alternate pathos and humor; are all wanting in Ida May, of which the plot is quite improbable, the characters ineffective and unnatural, and the story simply romantic. There are several vigorous descriptions in Ida, and some scenes of remarkable power; but, as a whole, we find it on a level with the majority of stories that are published in these days. The writer would do better with a less ambitious aim, and a more quiet sphere of incident.