This short story had been written by one of my most favorite writers Somerset Maugham. It depicts the story of a young widow who seems to made her mind up about everything in her life – a convenient and well-to-do marriage, but this one night changes the way of things go completely. Having survived this dreadful night alongside with chiseler Rowley she starts to understand more about herself and her desires.
I like the way Maugham once again shows in very realistic and true-to-life way that it’s almost impossible to judge people only for one thing. Only true varieties of fortune and troubles will show them who they really are. Edgar, a man who she’d known for so long and who loved her for so long, making a proposal. Even if there’s no love in her heart she considers this proposal very serious and positive matter ‘cause Edgar’s rich and honorable man. She thinks she’ll be bored to death but at the same time hopes that they won’t see each other very often. On the other hand there’s Rowley – a man of bad reputation and his proposal means nothing to her. But one night only, the night which brought her tons of troubles, showed who she really needed when the one turned his back on her and the other was happy to be near and help her.
Mary discovers not only her interest for Rowley but understands that she doesn’t want to be bored. She doesn’t want to avoid her husband and live in unbearable boredom. On the contrary, she wants to take risks a lot!
In this story personally I like Rowley. The man is true to him and to the others, doesn’t pretend to be who he really isn’t and this is very valuable. Plus he doesn’t hesitate to demand and take what he wants.
All in all the story is quite pleasant and quick to read.