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I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

The Painted Veil

 

This book was SO good. I read it for my book club and I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never read it before - I'd never even heard of it, even though the movie came out fairly recently (2006) -, so I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. 

What I loved most was Maugham's writing style. The book reads like a classic, but it moves much faster than most classics and the plot is more blatantly scandalous. It's not 50 Shade of Grey scandalous by any means, but it's not so subtle that you have to guess what's going on - the opening chapter is about an adulterous wife getting caught in the act. Maugham's word choice is exquisite and he's really great at getting inside Kitty's head (Kitty is the main character). She really grows as a person throughout the novel and by the end, she's really redeemed herself (in my opinion, anyway). 

The one thing that I wasn't totally crazy about is that I didn't feel like I really got to know Walter, Kitty's husband. The way that the plot was set up, he SHOULD have been a main character and I feel like the reader should have gotten to know him better. But he's more of a peripheral character, he's just kind of there, despite his major role in the plot. I'm positive that this was intentional. One of the major parts of the story line is that Kitty really doesn't know him, despite the fact that they're married, so perhaps to add to that, Maugham didn't want the reader to really know what was going on in Walter's head either. Even so, I wish that he'd been a little more revealing about Walter's feelings, because he had the potential to be a really interesting character - he's very mysterious. Kitty's pretty much the only character that you REALLY get to know, and I think that's kind of unfortunate. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic literature, especially if that person doesn't have time for the lengthy reads that classics usually are. This moves pretty quickly, so I think that even a teacher would have time to read it - I read it as a senior in college who works takes 18 credits, works 20 hours a week, is in a sorority, AND is in the process of working on 3 research projects haha. So I kind of feel like if I had time for this one, anyone would. Plus, it's just a genuinely amazing story. It has drama, tragedy, scandal - this book's definitely worth a try.