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The Painted Veil at Three Roads Blog
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The Painted Veil

The Painted VeilThe Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

Set in Hong Kong in 1925 in the waning days of the British Empire, The Painted Veil tells the story of the short, tragic marriage between Walter Fane, a an emotionally distant yet kind government scientist, and Kitty Fane, an immature and adulterous socialite.

Against his better judgment, Walter truly falls in love with Kitty, who agrees to marry him only to avoid being upstaged by the marriage of her younger sister.

Later, when Walter learns of her infidelity, he coerces her into joining him on a risky (potentially suicidal) trip to a village battling a cholera epidemic. I’ll leave the plot summary there.

Emotionally rich, psychologically astute, and a real page-turner to boot. Read it in a weekend and savor it long after.

2 Responses to “The Painted Veil”


  1. 1 Cassie

    I have to admit I ashamedly watched the movie before reading the book. Not my usual style but I have a mad attraction for Edward Norton. Anyway it’s good to know that the book is good, because I LOVED the movie and always wanted to read it. Now I have that extra push telling me to do it. However, now that you have read the book I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the movie Jeb. You know where you can borrow it. Haha

  2. 2 Jeb

    Cassie:

    I actually saw the movie last night. I really liked it, even though it departed from the book a great deal. (So much so that it was almost a completely different story.) So I won’t say which is better (the book usually is, but in this case, it would be comparing apples and oranges). I highly recommend the book, but be warned that it’s a little darker than the movie.

    The cast was awesome. Edward Norton was perfect as Walter. But the guy who played Waddington (can’t recall his real name; he played Truman Capote in Infamous) stole the show.

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