First published in 1925, The Painted Veil is an affirmation of the human capacity to grow, change, and forgive. Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but shallow young Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to a remote region of China ravaged by a cholera epidemic.
Stripped of the British society of her youth and overwhelmed by the desolation around her, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life. She takes up work with children at a convent, but when her husband dies, she is forced to return to England to her father, her one remaining relative, to raise her unborn child. Though too late for her marriage, she has learned humility, independence, and how to love.
My husband picked this one out. He is a great fan of Maugham's. I was only aware of him from old movies made from his books. I liked this pick. I found his characters real and relatable even from this time period. Kitty is very believable as are her situations. It's not a light read (or listen) but definitely well worth your time!
ps As a rule i only listen to unabridged books as i have found i don't like the way some things are cut in the abridged versions (plus i want all of the author's words...his/her voice)!