The Painted Veil

The Painted Veil

Book - 2004
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Random House, Inc.
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.

Baker & Taylor
Kitty Fane's affair with Assistant Colonial Secretary Townsend, a married man, is interrupted when she is taken from Hong Kong by her vengeful bacteriologist husband to accompany him to his new post amid a raging cholera epidemic. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2004
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9781400034215
Branch Call Number: FICTION MAUGHAM
Characteristics: 246 p. ; 21 cm


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Feb 26, 2019

This book is a wonderful journey of a young and vane woman who discovers maturity, charity and love through her mistakes and the pain of separation.

Feb 14, 2017

This is a beautiful story about love and betrayal in a marriage. I found the character of Kitty to be fascinating.

Mar 29, 2016

I enjoyed this story about how a selfish, childish, young woman who so casually throws away the life of the one person who truly loves her is taught the lesson of life. When her husband finds out how she has betrayed him, his revenge is perfect! During the process of being "punished" the character Kitty finally becomes a real, caring individual who is able to contribute to society. She matures and learns humility and the pleasure of simply caring for someone other than herself.

tiktok Mar 02, 2016

The novel revolves around a selfish young woman and her relationships. Even tho you should truly shun this woman, you may find yourself endearing yourself to her. Over time she awakens to her own true nature instead of one that she had adopted from her upbringing and associations. The story flows...glides, simplistically by the hand of the writers' talent. An enjoyable read and now one of my favorites. The movie although slow going is very worthwhile to watch also.

Jan 15, 2015

A story about the capacity of growth in Humans. Well written with some great characterizations. There is a reason he is considered a great writer. Definitely worth reading.

catinthehat17 Apr 09, 2013

Very easy to get caught up with the characters, a quick and enjoyable read! I'll give the movie a go without having expectations b/c the book always so much better.

Jan 04, 2013

Classical literature of the early 20th century. Our "little" suffering cannot be compared to the real suffering! The tragedy of a broken heart, compared with hunger and cholera? But suffering is suffering. No matter at what level and why. I like the character of Kitty from the beginning, despite the efforts of the author to show that she was a young dumb and selfish and was thinking only in her own pleasures. If she was as empty as Maugham tried to convince reader then it would be impossible for her to become a different person during her stay few months in the area of the epidemic. As for the film adaptation in 2006, from my point of view, not all actors were well chosen.

Caroline1731 Oct 11, 2012

Maugham has a wonderful ear for dialogue and he also describes and plots out the complicated twistings of human emotions and relationships in a realistic and engaging way. I had seen the 2006 movie a few years ago and then read the book. It's a tragic, beautiful, and redemptive story.

Oct 04, 2011

I really loved this book. It is never predictable, and has a great empowering ending. Really good for bookgroup discussion too.

Nov 26, 2010

Kitty's affair is found out by her husband who reacts by dragging her away from metropolitan Hong Kong to a Chinese backwater during a cholera epidemic. What she learns there about love and married life will change her forever.

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Feb 26, 2019

“If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others, it is always despicable to lie to oneself.”

Feb 26, 2019

“I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don't.”

Jun 06, 2013

“Some of us look for the Way in opium and some in God, some of us in whiskey and some in love. It is all the same Way and it leads nowhere.”


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