Maugham’s still in flashback, which is fantastic. He’s doing class from the perspective of a well-born outcast and it’s neat. Cakes and Ale, in flashback, is a very genial novel. It’s pleasant, with a lot of solid description and so on. However, Maugham’s plotting is taking some unexpected turns—at least to me, I suppose I just don’t remember the short stories he’s cribbing from—and they aren’t matching up with the narrator’s future perspective. Not yet, anyway. So, while it’s a surprisingly solid chapter (the book just keeps getting better), it’s also one where things are at there more precarious. I’m just hoping Maugham’s actually got characters here and not just easily sensationalized caricatures.