For Christmas, Charley Mason's father granted him a trip to Paris, all expenses paid. It should have been a lark, but on his first night Charley meets a woman whose story will forever change his life.
For Lydia has seen tragedy. The Russian Revolution displaced her family, left her homeless, fatherless. And for reasons that elude Charley, Lydia pines for a man half a world away--a dope dealer and murderer whose sins Lydia seeks to absolve through her own self- destruction. Haunting, erotic, deeply effecting, Christmas Holiday explores two souls capsized by compassion--and the confusion that engulfed a generation in the days between the Great Wars.
W. Somerset Maugham was one of the twentieth century's most popular novelists as well as a celebrated playwright, critic, and short story writer. He was born in Paris but grew up in England and served as a secret agent for the British during World War I. He wrote many novels, including the classics Of Human Bondage, The Razor's Edge, Cakes and Ale, Christmas Holiday, The Moon and Sixpence, Theatre, and Up at the Villa.
"The sheer unmatched skill with which Mr. Maugham [tells] his tale[s] would fill any novelist with envy." --Chicago Tribune
"Brilliant." --The New York Times
"It is very difficult for a writer of my generation, if he is honest, to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham...He was always so entirely there." --Gore Vidal