Monday, 9 March 2015

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

“A bird in the hand was worth two in the bush, he told her, to which she retorted that a proverb was the last refuge of the mentally destitute.”

W. Somerset Maugham is one of those authors I tend to have a distinct response to, either positive or negative. For instance, I was deeply frustrated by Of Human Bondage  and yet loved Ashenden and The Razor's Edge.  That being said, I was a little ambivalent towards seeking out this particular novel.

I do love a good book recommendation and this one came from an Internet friend from far, far away.He clearly has impeccable taste and a weirdly accurate radar as to the kind of anti-heroine I would relate to. Kitty perhaps  will draw a response from all women, she is our frivolous dark side, bored by dull men; eager for adventure and yet ultimately somewhat trapped by convention.

She represents the last, best hope of her parents. The burden of expectations all built around the fleeting drug that is youthful beauty. Life, as it often does, gets in the way. Enter an unfathomable choice, a devastating realisation and a journey that appears to be the path to suicide.

I think the quote above exemplifies how gorgeous and clever the prose is and this is definitely a classic worth exploring. As per my friend John's recommendation, I'd urge you to check this one out too.

5 out of 5 girls would think twice about an affair with a toupee.

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