Tag Archive for Adultery

Book Review: The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue I came across The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue while browsing through my local library’s online catalog, and then I happened to find a copy at the used bookstore the library runs nearby, so I bought it and dug right in. The story sounded interesting, about two women in Victorian England, good friends reunited after many years, but who are accused of having a romantic affair, the details of which are written in a sealed letter.

However, this description — which I’d read online somewhere — wasn’t actually what the book was about, which was confusing. The letter in question was actually only a minor element later on in the book, and the scandal was actually about one of the women — who is married — having an affair with a colleague of her husband’s, not about her and the other woman. There was a tiny detail about the latter possibility thrown in at the very end, but by then, it just frustrated me.

I really hate when a book is described — by others or the author — as something it ends up not becoming, or when a big emphasis is put on something that is actually not that significant in the book. Meet the expectations you’ve set up, or just get your story straight to begin with!

Book Review: The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham I’ve only read one other book by W. Somerset Maugham — Cakes and Ale — and I didn’t realize that some of his other works were slightly more contemporary, including The Painted Veil. The story follows a young English couple who get married, despite their not really being a loving couple, and then relocating to part of China, where the husband is going to work for the British government. The wife is the main focus though, and so we see her struggling with her marriage and this new life, and she eventually realizes just how selfish and uncaring she is.

The story was all right, but I had a hard time reading on, because I hated the main character so much. She was really quite a despicable character, very selfish and spoiled, and without any consideration for other people, especially her husband. I’d say it was an all right read, but I don’t really feel any urge to read other works by Maugham.