Sunday, June 24

Book Review: The Painted Veil

Title: The Painted Veil

Author: W. Somerset Maugham

Pages: 246

Summary: 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.

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book:   I was actually surprised on how much I enjoyed the book in the end, because my initial response to Kitty,  was a silly, frivolous, adulator - and at times she was. But there was a good amount of growth for her character, although some things remained the same, her time spent up where the cholera epidemic did change her.

All the characters were well written, although not all of them were as thoroughly explored as Kitty was. I would have liked a better look at Waddington. He was a bit of an intriguing character for me, and I would have liked to see more of him in the end. I did enjoy his and Kitty's friendship and the author explored it well to keep me satisfied, but I wanted more.

Writing was excellent, I will definitely seek out more books by the author in the future. The story flowed well together, and he wrote the characters so well, that I didn't mind some of their less favourable traits, such as Kitty's silliness. 
The ending is what irked me the most. While it suited the character and the story perfectly, I wanted something different. It isn't a horrible ending in anyway. It is perfect for the character. But, there was some good bits before that, and I would have liked to see the book to have ended there instead. Otherwise, it was a fairly good book.

Would I recommend it to read: I would. It was well written and a fairly good story. I think a lot of readers would love this book as they follow Kitty and her development.

What to read next: A Room with a View, Atonement, The Paris Wife

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, NewAuthors Challenge


  1. I loved this book when I read it about five years ago. I can't believe the author made me care for Kitty because she was so annoying at the beginning. :)

    1. That shows just how skilled and good at wring solid characters the author is when he can make you fall in love with a character like Kitty like that. I appreciated her in the end, but the author did a fantastic job with her.

  2. I like the setting and the fact that it's well written would make me want to read this book! Was it made into a movie?

    1. It was made into a movie. Edward Norten is in it. I've never seen the movie, so not sure if it's good or not.