Maugham's novel; Patterned cover; Is life, that's why it hurts so much

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Here is such a trick so that the flowers in the house bloom magnificently and for a long time

Franz Kafka wrote that only those books that "bite and sting us" should be read. Full quote:

I am sure that Kafka would have liked the book of Somerset Maugham "Patterned Veil" if he had lived at least six months longer and had time to read it. She still stung me, it hurt. And this pain does not let go. And for all my love for happy ends, I have to admit - I liked the book. And although after it I have already read almost a novel and a half, my thoughts keep coming back here, to Maugham's truth of life.

What this book is about

First quarter of the XX century. China - Great Britain (Hong Kong - Mei Dan Fu - London)

In the center of the novel is a classic triangle.

  • Kitty, a frivolous young woman of 27,
  • her husband Walter Fein, a worthy man, a bacteriologist,
  • and her lover , 41-year-old Charles Townsend, high-ranking official, assistant governor in Hong Kong, handsome, whip and weird.

The husband catches his wife cheating. This could become an anecdote, if not for other times and customs. And in those days, about which Maugham talks, the wrong choice of his wife, her betrayal often turned into a disaster.

To explain what brought the heroes to ruin, the author takes us back some time and tells the story of Kitty's marriage.

Kitty was an incredibly beautiful girl. That she would marry successfully, her greedy and narrow-minded mother did not doubt. For several years in a row, the young lady fluttered at balls, where her parents took her out, and recklessly refused all applicants for a hand and heart. Yes, there were many suitors, but she never met a rich man with a position in society. Time passed, the suitors ran out. Meanwhile, the younger, ugly, sister, who just turned 18, is getting married. Pretty Kitty got nervous, fidgeted and. went for the first one who proposed to her. Standing at the wedding of her old, unmarried sister did not smile at her. As a result, the game, in her opinion, turned out to be unsuccessful, and besides, and without love.

"It wasn't that he was bored, she was just indifferent to him."

Walter idolized his wife, although he understood what she was - "silly, frivolous, empty." But he loved her, so he closed his eyes, adjusted, did not show his mind and his noble essence, because he understood that this was not what his wife would appreciate him for.

A primitive wife could not appreciate it. She fell for the equally mediocre but brilliant Charles. And, being naive and stupid, she believed that he was ready at any moment to leave his wife, children and marry her. So Kitty wasn't even scared when her husband caught them.