The Painted Veil, W.Somerset Maugham

Cover ImageFinished the audio on 1-8-08, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 1925

I really enjoyed this book.  It is set in the 1920’s and is the story of pampered Kitty who marries a man to please her mother.  Kitty was beautiful and spoiled and Walter loved her.  She agreed to marry the bacteriologist and they were off to Shanghai where Kitty began an affair with the ambitious and married Charles.

  When Walter finds out he is heartbroken and forces Kitty to face an uncertain future in a cholera infested Chinese village.  There Kitty must face her own worth and take stock of her life.  Walter dies before true restoration can be made in their realtionship.  Kitty must travel back to Shanghai a pregnant widow.   

She must face Charles again and I was really rooting for her to show her spunk.  She did show her spunk, but she also showed her vulnerabilty.  The pages after she gave in to Charles once again were the most moving to me.  It was a heartwrenching look into a flawed woman who was desparately trying to overcome her faults.  She travels home to the one parent she has left and is met by a distant father who is facing his own freedom just as Kitty is facing the end of hers. 

 This was a wonderful novel.  I thought the reader. Kate Reading, was excellent and I am looking forward to checking out the latest movie version of this book.  I think Naomi Watts will make a great Kitty.

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