“Mildred Pierce” – James M. Cain

Original title: “Mildred Pierce”

Original language: English.

First edition: 1941.

Date read: Oct 2011.

Plot summary: Set in the 1930s, the book tells the story of a middle-class housewife, Mildred Pierce, who attempts to maintain her and her family’s social position during the Great Depression; Mildred separates from her unfaithful husband (Bert), copes with the death of her youngest daughter (Ray), and focuses on her eldest one. Veda, her surviving daughter, is a pretentious child who only lives to make her mum unhappy and to get rich friends.
Mildred’s love for her daughter is possessive, to the extent of “forgetting” to go to bed with her new husband, Monty Beragon -an ex-polo player and lothario whose rich family lost all their wealth due to the Depression. Mildred tries to gain her daughter’s love by “buying it” and is unable to see that Veda despises her as well as everyone else who has to work to earn a living.

Opinion: A book well worth reading. Its characters are amazing, especially Mildred and Veda; If you get the chance to see the mini-series created for HBO in 2011, don’t miss it as it’s a great adapation of the book. If you’ve already seen it, read this book.

Personal rating: 10/10

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