Keeping me company these past couple of weeks was one of William Somerset Maugham's lesser known novels - Mrs Craddock.
If you are a keen reader of Maugham, you'll realize by the third page that this is an early work of a writer still seeking his artistic voice. It's more verbose and stylistically less accomplished. It uses unpalatable writing techniques to offer insights into the human psyche - Maugham's biggest strength in later years.
But it's still the work of a master. Because by Page 30, the characters have gripped you and you feel compelled to read through the placid plot.
I especially loved this quote in chapter 30: "I've learned by long experience that people generally keep their vices to themselves, but insist on throwing their virtues in your face."
Now how true is that? The racuous crusaders of today - me included - can benefit from mulling over these words. And doesn't the true angel seal her lips to brighten her halo?
P.S: For those of my dear readers who haven't read Maugham, I have a question: do you think breathing is synonymous with living? It isn't. And you haven't lived till you've read The Moon and Sixpence. Read it to be inspired. And to know that Howard Roark - Ayn Rand's unforgettable character from the novel The Fountainhead - had a predecessor. His name was Charles Strickland.