The Painted Veil

Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Translator: Tanti Lesmana & Rosi L. Simamora
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication Date: October 2011
Pages: 304

"Anakku, orang tidak bisa menemukan kedamaian dalam pekerjaan atau bersenang-senang, di dunia maupun di dalam biara. Kedamaian hanya bisa ditemukan di dalam jiwa."

What would you do if your beloved wife was found out to have an affair with your colleague? Walter Fane, a British bacteriologist who at that time in 1920s works in Hong Kong gives two options to his wife, Kitty, gets a divorce and feels disgraced for the rest of her life or joins his husband to South China and fights a Cholera outbreak in a small Chinese village?

Kitty views this as a certain death sentence from his husband since she knows that Cholera outbreak at that time has caused lots of death and very few people can return home alive from that place. Feeling totally disgraceful, she finally agrees to risk her life and join her husband. She's definitely sure that her husband plans to kill her by taking her to that dangerous area. But no one knows what exactly stays at the bottom of somebody's heart. This journey has opened their eyes especially Kitty. She finally knows the meaning of the true love, the sacrifice, the importance of self esteem, and many more. She learns how to love, to grow, to change and at last to forgive.

This is a classic novel written by British author W. Somerset Maugham in 1925. The setting, the plot and the characters are so real. It left me with certain thoughts right after I finished it. The novel has been adapted for the screen three times in 1934, 1957 and 2006. Some people say that the 2006 movie is as good as the novel.

A well told story about a woman spiritual awakening. Well worth reading.