Friday, March 26, 2010

Must Watch Friday : The Painted Veil

Medicals Author Anne Fraser joins us this Friday with The Painted Veil!

First of all thank you to The Pink Heart Society for inviting me to be a guest blogger. It's a pleasure to be here.

A brief introduction for those folk who don't know me: I had my first medical romance published by Mills and Boon in October 2007 and have just completed my tenth book. (Which still feels unbelievable to me.) I used to be a nurse and am married to a hospital doctor, so I have no shortage of medical drama to use in my books.

As a writer of medical romances perhaps it should come as no surprise that my must see film is 'The Painted Veil', based on the book of the same name written by W. Somerset Maugham.

This film has everything for people who love romance (that would be all of us then); unrequited love, loss, redemption, change. Add in luscious scenery, (almost half of the film is set in the most stunning part of China) and then what is there not to love?

The film is about a British doctor who goes to rural China to fight an outbreak of cholera. He forces his spoiled, unfaithful wife to go with him risking her life along with his. He loves his wife but has always known she didn't love him when they married. He's kind of uptight so he never sweeps her off her feet. When he discovers that she is having an affair he is too British to confront her, so decides to punish her instead.

In China, they gradually begin to see each other in a new light and ...well I won't spoil it. I'll just warn you that you'll need a hanky.

This film has all the elements of a great romance. The characters learn something over the course of the story which fundamentally changes the way they see themselves and each other.

In my current book which is out now, Miracle: Marriage Reunited (a 2-in-1 with the wonderful Kate Hardy's The Doctor's Lost and Found Bride), the hero doesn't really 'see' his second wife. Like the hero of A Painted Veil, he is too wrapped up in his job (as a fertility doctor) to understand her pain and her sense of dislocation. (She has left her family and everything she knows back in South Africa to be with him.) Similarly she doesn't let him close enough to share her anguish when her pregnancy ends in miscarriage. Although he deals everyday with women suffering from the pain of not being able to have children, he is not able to talk to his own wife, and she is too proud to tell him how she really feels about being a second wife in a country which is not her own. Eventually, sharing their experiences of women with infertility, they start to learn about each other again.

If I could write a love story half as good as The Painted Veil, I'd be delighted. If you've seen it, do let me know what you thought of it, or if there are other films you would recommend let me know.

Best Wishes

Anne Fraser


  1. The Painted Veil is one of my favorites, too. So, beautifully shot, and then the chemistry just builds and builds between Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. I'm hoping to find a copy of the book at some point. And I'll look out for your novel as well, sounds like the kind of emotional storytelling I love. I just wish Medicals were more readily available in North America.

  2. I love that movie! The story is great, a quiet yet moving piece of art.

  3. I loved this film. Greta Garbo played the unfaithful wife. It was fabulous and I've saved it along with all my old favorite Errol Flynn films. Redemption is the surprising theme and tha makes it a great love story.

    Rebecca Winters