Top positive review
The Despicable Charles Strickland
20 July 2014
This is a really good book, not because of the protagonist or the story, but because of the writing of the character, Blanche Stroeve. She really saves this book from being relegated to the dustbin. In her, you see how a supposedly happily married woman can leave her husband and end up with a despicable character like George Strickland. Her journey from being married to Dirk Stroeve to being with George is well-written. She's the only sympathetic character in the whole story, but in some ways she is an echo of Strickland who left his wife and children. Somerset Maugham should have taken this opportunity to expand the relationship between Strickland and Blanche. What did he say to her that won her over? At what point did she go from hating him to loving him? It is clear that her initial hatred of him was really a suppression of her alarming love for him, and she protests to her husband, Dirk, not to let Strickland into the house because she knows that she couldn't resist falling in love with him. This is understandable because there are some women who are aggressive and argumentative towards some men, but it is really a lopsided expression of affection. This should have been expanded more because it would give us some insights as to Strickland's journey towards leaving his wife and children. Blanche's fatal end is a foreshadowing of Strickland's fatal end.