Review of The Painted Veil, by W. Somerset Maugham

A long time ago, a friend and I had coffee with the wonderful actor, Gabriel Byrne. After a memorable evening of discussion on many wide-ranging topics, what stayed with me was the conversation we had about books, particularly W. Somerset Maugham. At the time, I was reading Maugham’s novel, Of Human Bondage. Gabriel told me that was one of his favorite books. He also mentioned another of Maugham’s books titled The Painted Veil.  Each time he had read the book, it had new meaning for him and, of course, he strongly recommended that I read it.

I took his advice and purchased the novel. I can say unequivocally that the story had such meaning for me that I purchased the book as a gift for many friends.

The book still resonates and seems to transcend time. It is a story of a woman, Kitty Fane, who becomes spiritually awakened in the midst of a loveless marriage.  Kitty starts out as a shallow and vain woman. Her sole training via her mother was to find a man of means and she ends up having an affair with a career politician, Charles Townsend. When her husband discovers the betrayal, he makes Kitty go with him to a cholera-infested area of China for his research (talk about extreme).  What Kitty discovers while living in this region is something she had buried; she finds her spiritual soul and something else that she had so sorely lacked in her life, she finds herself.

Kitty volunteers her time at an orphanage wherese the true test of her character comes from the exposure to the nuns whose lives are so different from the life she has led.  Kitty is forced to not only deal with change, but she begins to realize that she is changing also. She faces many obstacles, and, in the end, finds fortitude and  her true spirit and character.

I can honestly say, if you have never read The Painted Veil, it is well worth your time. Some classics are worth revisiting.  It’s a book that will stay with you long after you put it back on your bookshelf.

For more information on the novel, visit Amazon and other sites for information.

This entry was posted on March 30, 2016. Leave a comment






If you’re on vacation and find yourself in the very cool city of Berlin, you have to plan a break for strudel and coffee or tea at the Cafe Einstein.

The Cafe Einstein is a great old-world Viennese cafe bursting with years of history. The place just bustles with great cheer and festive energy.   I am not much for desserts these days since I can’t have sugar but when in Berlin I make an exception and have a few bites of the most amazing strudel.  It’s truly worth the trip!

See Cafe Einstein’s link at:

Address: Kurfürstenstraße 58, 10785 Berlin, Germany

Phone:+49 30 2615096


Open today · 8AM–12AM





Back in July of last year, the company I worked for over 11 years lost the account that I worked on.  The inevitable laying off of many wonderful people and close friends soon followed.

At the time, I was annoyed, pissed off―call it what you will―at the need to put my resume together and pound the pavement for the ever-elusive new job! What I didn’t realize at the time is that the old cliché is so true, “when one door closes, another one opens!”

While I toiled at sending my resume out via e-mail and setting up job interviews , a wonderful opportunity came my way via my soon-to-be defunct job.  The company that won the account was interviewing people with experience to work at the new firm .

At first I thought, “This is lame!” I can’t see myself working on this again after I worked on it for over 11 years.  What I didn’t realize was that I’d get a promotion, have more input within the department, and have more say on the account. While this may seem like a small thing, the opportunity this brought gave me a renewed joy in my life―career wise.

So the next time you get laid off and think your life is over or set back, remember that change is inevitable and can be a good thing, and that new possibilities can be found right under our noses. So go out and open that door!

Article from Betty Confidential published a few years ago.




Culture Club

Culture Club The Beauty of Traveling Alone By: Camille Siegel


Whoever said, “traveling alone is a drag,” never traveled alone! The great thing about going it alone on vacation is the ability to really experience another culture on your own terms (don’t get me wrong, my trips with my friends or boyfriends were wonderful too).

The extraordinary thing about what I call “culture immersion,” is the ability to lose yourself in the culture.  I begin by researching the country to learn their local customs; I like to absorb everything I can and become a so-called native. I dine on the country’s cuisine, while taking walking and day tours to find places that you wouldn’t otherwise see.  I then like to hone in on the nightlife and drink the country’s wines and eat the local delicacies.  While in Portugal,  for example, I discovered the national pastime is a form of singing called “Fado.”

Fado goes back to the 1800s. It’s a soulful music, almost opera-like, that will transport you to another time and place. Every night, I would go to a Portuguese restaurant and listen to a Fado singer, and get lost in the affecting and mournful sounds of the land, while drinking the traditional “green” or white wine.  There’s something to be said for such a feeling! Thanks to Fado, I learned much about the history of Portugal, and got a real feeling for the people― a warm and engaging society.

Further, a friend who had lived in Lisbon hooked me up with some of her Portuguese friends who showed me all around Lisbon and Sintra. They took me to many places I would have never known about. We ended up going to a Portuguese Wine exhibition, a huge space of over 200 red, white and other liquors―talk about a wine drinker’s dream! I tasted numerous wines, some available in the States. And I ended up conversing with many different people from Portugal, while learning about their wine history.

Overall, the experience of  immersing yourself in another culture is a magnificent event.  The time I wandered the streets of Lisbon and went around the coast was an amazing  and reflective time. I was able to look back on the year, and chart a new and positive road for 2008. Now if I could only find that bottle of Quinta do Ameal White Wine that I had, life would be perfect!

Culture Club

Culture Club








Recently, my friend Deborah Perry Piscione shot a (owned by LinkedIn) tutorial about risk-taking for leaders. I highly recommend this tutorial for those who want to further along their skills and ideas, this is a derivative from her last book called The Risk Factor.  Through this course, you will learn the following:

  • What is risk?
  • What role does risk play in leadership?
  • Assessing your risk-taking style
  • Understanding your organization’s risk tolerance
  • Defining risk-takers
  • Cultivating smart risk-taking behavior
  • Modeling risk-taking leadership
This tutorial is an essential learning tool for the leaders of the world and future leaders.



It’s been awhile since I was at a Broadway show, perhaps because the tickets are so expensive nowadays and so many shows bleed into the next with revivals that after a while I really don’t want to cough up $100 dollars  up for a ticket unless the cast is so stellar, I will sell my right arm to see the show.
But recently, I was more than pleasantly surprised to see the show Something Rotten  at the St. James Theatre.
To begin with, I had no idea what the show was about going into the theater,  as my friend got me a ticket at the last-minute and I agreed to go. Since I was pressed for time to research the story, I was truly in the dark–in this case, I was elated to find a gem of a show.
No wonder the show is a hit!
It’s been a long time since I was at a musical where I was laughing and clapping all the way through.  And to see the audience standing on their feet at half time and at the end of the curtain call was a true delight.
The premise of Something Rotten is the hilarious story of two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom (played by Brian D’arcy James and John Cariani), who are playwrights and are trying to compete with the great Shakespeare (played by the amusing Christian Borle), known as the “Bard,” who in this show comes off as a rock star with an ego to boot.
Enter a local quack soothsayer, Nostradamus, hilariously played by Brad Oscar, who predicts that a “musical, pronounced mooosical” is the way to go.  And all laughing begins!
Clever costumes, choreography and brilliant performances by the great cast make this show the must-see for the spring season on Broadway.
Mark my words, you will be laughing all the way out of the theater.
I attach their link for more info: