Saturday, January 09, 2010

Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain

Mildred Pierce is a housewife and a baker. When she kicks her husband out for infidelity her life begins. This novel is fabulously successful as a period piece and a look at feminism and class in the nineteen thirties.

Mildred takes a job as a waitress to support her family, including the petulant Vera, one of the least likeable children in literature. We get sex, love, betrayl, crime and a lot of knowledge about how to cook the books (hehe) of a diner.

Of the three James M. Cain novels I read in 2009, this was my favorite, because the texture of the piece and the tragedy of the deal were the best conveyed. Don’t expect gat wielding gangsters here; this is crime of a different sort, and social drama of a more realistic nature.

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