W. Somerset Maugham was one of the twentieth centurys most popular novelists as well as a celebrated playwright, critic, and short story writer. He was born in Paris but grew up in England and served as a secret agent for the British during World War I. He wrote many novels, including the classics Of Human Bondage, The Razors Edge, Cakes and Ale, Christmas Holiday, The Moon and Sixpence, Theatre, and Up at the Villa.
Erin Naillon, June 1, 2007 (view all comments by Erin Naillon)
This story of a young woman's journey to self-knowledge is a refreshingly pro-feminist tale by a master storyteller, all the more interesting due to the time when it was written (1920s) and the fact that our heroine is no saint, no martyr, but a very human woman who makes mistakes and must pay the price. Told entirely from the point of view of Kitty Fane, a middle-class housewife who has been caught by her husband having an affair with a married man, the story takes us from Kitty's stifling upbringing by a domineering, social-climbing mother, to her hasty marriage to a young man she barely knows, to the affair and its aftermath. The plot is full of surprises and small gems of wisdom.
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