The Painted Veil, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong.

Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with charming, attractive and exciting Charles Townsend.

But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange and terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera epidemic rages...First published to a storm of protest, "The Painted Veil" is a classic story of a woman's spiritual awakening.


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I can always read Maugham - he's become my favourite author, more or less, and I'm always quick to recommend him to other bibliophiles. I enjoy those novels of his which include a narrator - The Razor's Edge is the perfect example - but where one is absent I still find a huge amount to grip onto.Most of the books I've read by Maugham have male protagonists, so it's somewhat unusual to read a book led by a woman. It makes for an interesting change, and although I'm waiting for the opinion of my friend Ola, a Polish girl who'll read the book soon and tell me if I'm right, I think he's done a very admirable job of portraying a member of the opposite sex.The story concerns a young woman who has moved to colonial Hong Kong with her new husband, and who has been cheating on him there. I won't divulge more details than that - the whole plot concerns the fall-out of their relationship, but it is classic Maugham through and through. Definitely worth reading.

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