Featuring an appendix of discussion questions, the Diversion Classics edition is ideal for use in book groups and classrooms. Believed to be W. Somerset Maugham's crowning masterpiece, this coming of age story follows the life of Philip Carey, an orphan born with a clubfoot who aches to experience the life and love so carefully starved out of him by his cold, uncompromising uncle, a man whose disdain for Philip is matched by his religious fervor. Spending much of his young life moving from boarding school to boarding school, Philip is an academic success, but his every attempt at lasting friendship ends in painful solitude. As his loneliness ferments into bitterness, Philip boldly casts aside his uncle's plans for him to become a doctor like the many men in his family. He cannot stand a moment more in a boarding school, and leaves to become an artist. Free for the first time, Philip discovers more about himself than he ever has before. He grapples with his own identity, God, his talent as an artist, and the loneliness that does not leave him even when finally surrounded by people. When he returns to London to finally study medicine, he encounters a brash and bold waitress named Mildred and falls hopelessly in love for the first time. Starved of affection for so long, Mildred is a force that threatens to consume Philip's entire life.