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The Painted Veil

Reviewed by:

Krishna Chaitanya M

Updated on:


Published Year:





W. Somerset Maugham




Drama, Marriage

3rd person, Linear


This is my 2nd book by Mr. Maugham after The Moon and Six Pence, and as usual, he didn’t disappoint me. 

The story is a portrait of a mismatched marriage and its consequences, which makes it a bit depressing, yet interesting read. Walter Fane is an introvert, who can’t express his immense love to his wife, Kitty in words. On other hand, Kitty Fane is an extrovert and self centred girl, who seeks attention. She later meets charming Charles Townsend, to whom she gets attracted to and starts an affair. When this affair gets exposed is where the essence of the novel comes into play.  

There is an underlying theme of personal transformation of kitty, from a spoil brat to a strong and independent woman, which goes along with the story. I loved the way the author introduced young Kitty, through an arch of characters from her family, starting from her father. I also like characters of Waddington and Mother Superior, who play an important role in Kitty’s transformational journey. 

Though this is not a romantic novel, it is definitely an interesting one with an elegant prose. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys narration and literature in general, rather than entertaining stories alone.

What I like about this book:

As always, captivating and elegant narration.

Quotes from the book:

“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 nowhither.”
“She was a fool and he knew it and because he loved her it had made no difference.”


My Ratings (of 5):





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