JSou's Reviews > Up At the Villa

Up At the Villa by W. Somerset Maugham
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's review
Feb 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from February 23 to 25, 2010

I was really excited to get this book, since after reading Of Human Bondage I've been on a quest to find all of Maugham's works. This is really more of a short story or novella, but at the same time quite powerful.

The story opens with the widowed, but still desired and beautiful Mary Leonard pondering a marriage proposal from an old family friend and waiting for his return. During the few days he's gone, Mary has a chance encounter with a young and handsome stranger, and cougar-action ensues. (Hi, Ben!) A word of warning to the ladies though, as Maugham points out, sometimes these things can go horribly, horribly wrong.

Maugham's style was evident throughout the story, and even though I didn't become extremely attached to the characters, (mostly due to the length of the book) I thought they were well-written and showed great insight into human behavior. Maugham touches on themes of love, marriage, war, society, relationships, and scandal all while keeping the dialogue light and sharp-witted, and the story fast-paced.

The ending did seem a little awkward compared to the content and intensity of the story, but overall I highly recommend this one.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben 4-stars! Cool. Do you think you may review it?

message 2: by Cait (new) - added it

Cait I'm glad you liked this! I just picked it up at the used bookstore yesterday.

JSou Okay, review finally done. I hate when I actually have to work when I'm at work.

This was a great little story, Cait. I love how pretty much every book I'm reading or want to read is on your "owned" shelf. :o)

message 4: by Ben (new)


JSou Yep. Though she was only 7 years older than him and not quite technically a cougar by today's standards, I'm sure back then it was completely scandalous. Definately smirking and thinking of you when the story took that turn.

message 6: by Ben (new)

Ben Yes! There was a cougar scene in The Razors Edge as well, but it was short and (unfortunately for everyone) didn't amount to a hook-up.

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