B and I continue to read The Painted Veil. Kitty and Walter have gone into an area of China that is ripe with cholera and Walter succumbs to it. He dies.
Kitty has fallen in love with him somewhere along the line and so she weeps. She has moved from being a young, immature and very superficial but beautiful woman to someone who sees beneath the surface. She penetrates the painted veil and finds a truly brave man who has sacrificed himself in an effort to find a cure for an epidemic.
Next time we sit down together we will find out what happens to her. I, of course, have seen the movie and know what happens to her if the movie and the book remain true to one another.
She survives. Walter dies. And her lover, Charles, never amounts to anything.
Here’s a recap of what happened earlier. She was getting “old” and she married Walter because he loved her and he was a doctor. Then she was attracted to Charles and had an affair with him after they arrived in China. Walter found out about it and offered her an ultimatum. He would divorce her straightaway or she could come with him into the cholera infested regions and pretend she was his wife.
She went to Charles feeling certain that he would leave his wife and marry her in a heartbeat.
But here is where the idealistic little dear discovered a portion of reality . Charles was really very happy with his wife and she was essentially a source of entertainment. This is what is often referred to these days as a “wake-up call”.
Walter really loved Kitty. And in the end she discovered that she loved him too.
I often hear people complaining that they don’t have “real” love in their lives. They are looking for someone with whom they can share real love.
Kitty discovered the difference between a romantic infatuation and real love during her time in China. Initially she was convinced by the former. But as time rolled on she gained a bit of wisdom and discovered the nature of true love.