A novel written by W. Somerset Maugham in 1915.

It is the story of Philip Carey, a delicate flower of a man who suffers the indignity of having a club foot. The love interest is a common girl named Mildred. It takes place in London where he is studying medicine after a brief fling with becoming an artist in Paris.

If you have had the unfortunate luck of ever being trapped in an unholy love affair with someone you knew you had to escape in order to survive . . . If you have ever attempted to kill your lover in one minute and been crying floods of tears in ecstasy the next, making love like no one could imagine it could be made . . . If you have ever moved to another town just to escape the cycle of dependency with an evil love affair, only to be so lonesome and lost that you moved the torment to the same town with you . . . If you have not had the will to leave any situation that was so obviously wrong, only because you were weak of the flesh and a pitiful excuse for a human . . .

If any or all of this has happened to you, I think you'll find Maugham's book quite an interesting read.

If you have forgotten how to read an entire book, you might try the movie version directed by Edmund Goulding in 1946, starring Paul Henreid and Eleanor Parker. I find this film version of the book to be the best treatment of Maugham's intentions. The original was made in 1934 by John Cromwell and starred Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. Another version was made in 1964 by Bryan Forbes, starring Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey. This is obviously a subject that interests a lot of people in Hollywood.

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