By W. Somerset Maugham
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375724633, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 13, 2001
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In Theatre, W. Somerset Maugham–the author of the classic novels Of Human Bondage and Up at the Villa–introduces us to Julia Lambert, a woman of breathtaking poise and talent whose looks have stood by her forty-six years. She is one of the greatest actresses England–so good, in fact, that perhaps she never stops acting.
It seems that noting can ruffle her satin feathers, until a quiet stranger who challenges Julia's very sense of self. As a result, she will endure rejection for the first time, her capacity as a mother will be affronted, and her ability to put on whatever face she desired for her public will prove limited. In Theatre, Maugham subtly exposes the tensions and triumphs that occur when acting and reality blend together, and–for Julia–ultimately reverse.