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Painted Veil

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By: (1874-1965)

Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham is a captivating story set in 1920s colonial Hong Kong. The novel follows the journey of Kitty, a selfish and materialistic woman who finds herself stuck in a loveless marriage to a dull and boring husband. As she embarks on an extramarital affair, Kitty is forced to confront the consequences of her actions and reevaluate her priorities.

Maugham's writing is exquisite, transporting readers to a world of decadence and moral dilemmas. The character development is superb, particularly Kitty's transformation from a shallow socialite to a woman capable of self-reflection and growth. The story is gripping and poignant, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and redemption.

Overall, Painted Veil is a thought-provoking and beautifully written novel that will linger in the reader's mind long after finishing the last page. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and literary classics.

Book Description:
This Maugham classic is set in England and Hong Kong and in a cholera --ridden Chinese village in the 1920's. A committed, principled, epidemiologist, Dr. Fane, falls in love with the beautiful, but vain and foolish, Kitty Garstin. She agrees to marry him only because she wishes to beat her sister to the altar. She soon commits adultery with a British official in Hong Kong, where they have relocated. Dr. Fane decides that she must accompany him to a small village, deep within China, where cholera is rampant; otherwise, he will reveal the betrayal, with grave consequences for all. It appears to be a suicide mission. The story is one of love, of a search for meaning of life, of forgiveness, and of personal growth and change. The inner thoughts of the several characters--especially Kitty--are thoroughly painted by Maugham. The title presumably refers to the veil of illusion that often hides the truth we feel about ourselves. We will not spoil for the reader the surprises that make this a compelling novel.

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