Liza of Lambeth, Chapter Six

More happens this chapter than it seems like, with Liza and her pal Sally going into work hungover from the Bank Holiday day trip. They get some beer at lunch, which tides Liza over, but she’s fixating on Jim, the married guy. All her coworkers are interested in her relationship with Tom, but not Liza. He doesn’t even show up in the chapter. There’s more flirtation with Jim, there’s Liza talking with the neighbor lady (who is dealing with a physically abusive husband), there’s more of Liza’s mom guilt tripping her. Liza is almost lyrical in Maugham’s distance. I’m hopeful it’ll end up a character study, but I can’t imagine it won’t go tragedy. As far as the writing, the most interesting part is when Maugham follows a semi-colon—which he goes on to love by the 1930s—with a “but.” So not interesting good, just interesting.

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