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 born in Paris in 1874. He trained as a doctor in London where he started writing his first novels. In 1926 he bought a house in Cap Ferrat, France, which was to become a meeting place for a number of writers, artists and politicians. He died in 1965.
"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