Stripped of the British society of her youth and overwhelmed by the desolation around her, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life. She takes up work with children at a convent, but when her husband dies, she is forced to return to England to her father, her one remaining relative, to raise her unborn child. Though too late for her marriage, she has learned humility, independence, and how to love.
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©1925 W. Somerset Maugham; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[Maugham is] the modern writer who has influenced me the most." (George Orwell)
"An expert craftsman....His style is sharp, quick, subdued, casual."(New York Times)
"The Painted Veil, with its sadness, its moral tension, its irony and compassion, its building evocations of lust and terror and remorse, is a work of art." (Spectator)
I bought this as part of an Audible sale (can't remember why exactly I picked it), but I ended up enjoying it. The story of an unfaithful wife, the lengths to which her husband went to punish her, and her search for redemption. Quite a few interesting characters. Kitty makes you want to smack her several times during the book, but you end up rooting for her to make the right decision (and you totally agree with her self-loathing after her mistake the second time around); eventually she comes around. Waddington is a gem, as are the nuns in the convent. Not a very long read/"listen" and it moves along well. I enjoyed the narration.
A trifle pedantic and indulgent by the author. I found elements of Anna Karenina and hints of Madame Bovary, but not the emotional impact of either. This is a story that has all the ingredients of a morality tale, and none of the reality of redemption. It was predictable yet readable, and while I saw what was coming, felt I should continue it. It made me think that Maugham -- sorry -- had less creativity and imagination but wonderful style and powerful language. Nothing original here. But worth reading, worth hearing the masterful use of language.
A simple period piece with tremendous character development. Outstanding narrator - ideal, really.
I've listened to this several times. Love it.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Vain, selfish, puffed up . . . and unable to see beyond the end of her own nose, Kitty Garstan, is pretty and has drawn the attention of plenty of eligible young men . . . but having turned them all down, and now at age 25 and about to pass into spinsterhood according to her mother, she feels pressed to accept the proposal of young bacteriologist, Walter Fane . . . he has fallen quite madly in love with her . . . though his shy, backward ways amuse her . . becoming wife to Dr. Fane at his post in Hong Kong seems a fitting station to Kitty . . . so it is that she accepts Walter's proposal . . . society life as the life of a bacteriologist is not what Kitty had hoped . . . and she soon begins an adulterous affair with the Colonel Charles Townsend, the Assistant Governor of Hong Kong . . . an older fellow, who, like Kitty, suffered much from an over inflated opinion of himself . . . thinking herself to be in love for the first time in her life, Kitty overlooks the obvious . . . i.e., the fact that Charles is happily married, that he spends WAY too much time preening in front of the mirror, and that his WIFE is the one with the brains in the family . . . and suave Charles feeds Kitty's ego, like candy to a baby . . . with all the "I love you's" and "I will never let you down"s until one could upchuck at the sheer idiocy of it . . . and low and behold, poor naive Walter . . . who has loved his wife with a never ending love, expecting nothing in return . . . well, he isn't the country bumpkin one would have imagined . . .(I do hate that the author did not delve further into Walter's own emotions from this point further, other than to show his bitterness . . . I am going to watch the movie, as other reviewers have noted that the conclusion is different) . . . from the time that Walter confronts Kitty with her cheating and their move to China, the story changes greatly . . . and so do Walter and Kitty . . . the relationship of Kitty with the nuns and children, the work of Walter with the Chinese dying of cholera, the story of Waddington and the Manchu Princess were all wonderful . . . but as Kitty grows and finally realizes the worthlessness of Charles, his shallowness, her own foolishness, and begins to see the kindness of her own husband, she is yet to truly VALUE it . . . to LOVE him . . . to understand the GIFT of him . . . the ending is a hard one . . . brutal . . . but leaves hope for Kitty to yet learn and grow with her father and her child.
Awesome narrator - her voice was perfect for the role and so full of inflection! This story is very honest. It portrays the results of love and infidelity realistically, without silly Hollywood romance. It strikes true to the heart as you watch a vain and shallow woman gain depth and understanding and wisdom through her trials. She is transformed from a pitiful socialite to a woman of better, higher emotions and convictions. Beautiful story!!
It was a little difficult to follow at the beginning, but increasingly got better. The story itself was just wonderful. To see the change in the main character, Kitty, throughout the book was eye opening. This story helps you look at your own life and attitude.
Until we realize the world is not about what it can do for us, we are selfish and ignorant. The greatest joy in life is blessing others with peace and happiness, even in our darkest times.
I have a quilting business. Since I love to read, I cannot read a book and quilt at the same time. Now I can listen to books and quilt too.
Yes I would. This story pointed out the fragility of relationships...marriage and how the grass is NOT greener on the other side.
Kitty Fane and her evolution into 'growing up' and being held accountable for her decisions.
The author sets us back in time with the story and setting...but also can easily be set in today's era.
My favorite scene was when the realization of her actions comes full force in her heart and mind.
A very insightful book. It reminds us all about the values of love and marriage...and honesty.
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