Mildred Pierce
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Mildred Pierce

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  4,032 ratings  ·  578 reviews
Hard boiled, hungry for love and money...

She was a shrewd divorcee with an eye for men, a talent for profit and an obsession with success. She clawed her way through life. Not for herself, but for her daughter Veda--her ripe, cruel daughter--who couldn't keep her hands off her mother's men...
Mass Market Paperback, 238 pages
Published December 1967 by Bantam Books (first published 1941)
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Mildred Pierce would have made a great guest for Dr. Phil or Oprah.

During the Great Depression, Mildred’s husband has been moping about since the collapse of his real estate business and takes up with another woman until Mildred has enough and throws him out. That takes care of one problem but leaves her to support their two daughters herself. With no work experience, Mildred finally takes a job as a waitress that she finds humiliating, but eventually her parlays what she learns and her baking s...more
Dan Schwent
Mildred Pierce divorces her out of work, philandering husband and struggles to find a way to support herself and her two daughters. Too bad she attracts lazy scoundrels like a magnet and one of her daughters is a hellion...

Mildred Pierce is the tale of the titular character's obsessive devotion to her wicked nigh-sociopathic daughter and her wrong choices in men. Cain guides Mildred and her fabulous gams from one setback to the next, either from Veda or one of her douchebag suitors.

The writing i...more
Well done story that paints a realistic portrayal of a woman's struggle for success during the depression era.
This story gives me thoughts of a previous read novel Revolutionary Road by Yates which also was adapted into big screen well. They really are both of similar tones. A decline of the family structure, loss of possessions dear to them in this world, a really heart warming and life learning story.
Is there more light at the end of the tunnel for the main protagonist Mildred?
You are taken...more

Wow, freaking wow. I had no idea I would be sucked into this novel the way I was -- I couldn't put it down! I know that phrase is overused, but seriously, I couldn't put it down! And when I did have to abandon it for life and work, I couldn't wait to get back to it. This is so different than Cain's other noir novels where sex and violence, scheming, backstabbing and a dead body feature so prominently. Unlike Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce is a full-length nove...more

If you leave a large heart-shaped box of chocolates open on my desk, I’ll eat it even if it triggers a bear trap on my arm. I feel pretty much the same way about the rich chocolately goodness of noir melodrama, or campy female slap-fests. I don’t think there is anything as worthy of losing your arm over as Mildred Pierce. This book is the Bitch Queen Mother of books.

There are many things that make my favorite book compass spin wildly in circles here. First of all, growing up in the tract home sp...more
So there's a restaurant a few blocks from my place bearing the novel's namesake. It made Canadian national news, and then the US Today show. Not for its pies, not for its cuisine. Mildred Pierce is a yuppie establishment, serving white fusion. By white fusion I mean the sad attempt at hodgepodge described by some whitey-white liberal college students searching for cultural identity: "Irish, British, Swedish, and German." Meh. What made it international gossip was that this highbrow eatery has la...more
James Thane
James M. Cain's Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice have always been two of my favorite crime novels. While Mildred Pierce was turned into something of a crime story in the movie starring Joan Crawford, the book is the fairly straight-forward story of a California woman who struggles to make a life for herself and her daughter, Veda, during the years of the Great Depression.

As the book opens, Mildred throws her lazy, unfaithful husband out on his ear and become the single mother...more
“Mildred Pierce”
© James McCain

Perché ho comprato questo libro che pochissime persone hanno sentito nominare?

Bè, è noto ormai quanto le copertine influenzino i miei acquisti compulsivi e cosi è andata anche questa volta: sono in libreria che giro con gli occhi fuori dalle orbite e scorrendo velocemente lo scaffale dedicato alla casa editrice Adelphi mi vedo Kate Winslet in uno sfondo verde smeraldo, leggo la quarta di copertina che mi informa che questo libro è stato ripubblicato per la prima v...more
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Mildred Pierce é um excelente romance de época, que retrata na perfeição a época que sucedeu a Grande Depressão de 1929. Com o desemprego a aumentar, fruto da derrapagem de muitas empresas, a vida de Mildred não é diferente da maioria das famílias norte-americanas.

Opinião completa:
Often a finicky reader like myself will coordinate novel reading with leisurely travel. It is the exquisite pairing of books at beaches, at hotel balconies, at restaurants that forever, at least in my own experience, binds the two together in a truly surreal/Dadaistic effort. For instance, I remember fondly reading "Catcher in the Rye" at a desolate Mexican beach, "The Tesseract" on my way to Mazatlan, "The Exorcist," "Sphere" and "The Beach" all making themselves unforgettable with the incessan...more
This book is by far the best James M. Cain book I've read. After reading Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, I was curious about how Cain would translate his hardboiled crime style into a story about a 1930s housewife who is down on her luck but cannot give up, due in part to her aristocratic, haughty daughter. I've always been interested in that decade, and this book did more to illuminate it (and what it might have been like to be a woman in that time) than any other novel for...more
Shawn Thrasher
I read a description of Mildred Pierce somewhere that described it as a "hard boiled" novel. I wasn't exactly sure what that meant. But if all hard boiled novels are as juicy and good as Mildred Pierce, then I'm hard boiled. Mildred Pierce had me hooked almost from the first page. Dramatic and melodramatic, Dallas and Dynasty could be direct descendents of Mildred Pierce with the adultery and sultry affairs, the shady business deals, marriages for anything but love, and dames with great legs (al...more
With a HBO miniseries of Mildred Peirce (Staring Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce & Evan Rachel Wood) coming up soon; I thought I needed to read this James M. Cain classic. The story of Mildred Pierce follows the titular mother who, during the Great Depression finds herself separated from her husband, opening a restaurant of her own, and falling in love with a new man, all the while trying to earn her daughter's love and respect.

Sounds like a nice little story, right? Wrong; James M. Cain brings his...more
Of course, I saw the movie first. "Mildred Pierce" is one of my favorites, and I'll watch it every time it's on TCM, because Veda, Mildred's daughter, is such an fabulously unmitigated bitch. Then I found out the movie was adapted from this book, written by the same guy who wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. Really, I don't have to write a review: the book's credentials recommend it without my help, don't they?

But I'll write one, anyway.

This book is dark. One of the reas...more
before i get started, let me say that i picked this up after reading an awesome interview with todd haynes, whose tv mini-series version of this book is something i'm really looking forward to. you should read it too:

secondly, my only earlier experience with james m. cain comes from the film version of double indemnity. having seen that movie and read this book, i have to say it's a bummer he's not around to weave tales about the current economic tomfooler...more
C.C. Cole
Like many others, I saw the recent Kate Winslet mini-series “Mildred Pierce,” and finally saw the film starring Joan Crawford on Mother’s Day weekend, so I decided to read the book to further explore this story that deviates from many clichés of men, women, and children’s interpersonal relationships.

First, I like period stories that take in as a whole the economic effects, which is expected during the Great Depression. Mr. Cain not only explained it from the viewpoint of the lead character Mildr...more
A strange upheaval of the genre Cain helped invent. This isn't a crime novel, in the way that "Double Indemnity" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice" are, but in some ways, the wrongs and misdeeds perpetrated are far worse. Our protagonist is repeatedly undone by a femme fatale, as reprehensible a being as I've ever encountered in fiction. The caveat? The protagonist is a woman, and the femme fatale is her own daughter.
EZRead eBookstore
Conveniently in time for the new HBO miniseries, I picked up “Mildred Pierce” knowing in advance it was going to be a firework show. The Joan Crawford “Mildred” is already on my list of must-see films with a mother/daughter slap fight, and I’m WAY into both camp and noir. The book, however, is a lot more subtle and broiling than the crisp black-and-white soap, and I was surprised by James M. Cain’s intimate knowledge the hurricane force of a woman who wants something. This book, without exaggera...more
Mildred Pierce is a fascinating psychological thriller about a single mother of two daughters who is simply trying to do the best thing possible for her children. The story begins during prohibition, spanning beyond repeal into Roosevelt's New Deal. The odds are decidedly stacked against her: but Mildred uses her common sense and sexual prowess to move through the world of patriarchy, establishing a company from a cottage industry of making pies. The focus - written in the close third person - i...more
(Recensione natalizia dal blog)
Avere tra le mani Mildred Pierce e leggerlo dopo la valanga di romanzi contemporanei (che siano d'amore, fantasy o di qualsiasi altro genere) è come rientrare a casa dopo un lungo viaggio, mettersi comodi in poltrona e riposarsi, oziando. Perché sappiamo che c'è qualcuno che farà la nostra parte mentre noi prendiamo fiato.
Così ha fatto James Cain: mi ha raccontato questo romanzo e ho avuto l'impressione che dentro ci fosse tutto ciòdi cui avevo bisogno. Come lettri...more
Samantha Glasser
Mildred Pierce is a young mother with two children, and he husband is seeing another woman. She decides he should move out, but she cannot support herself or her girls with no job, so she reluctantly searches for work. Because of her experience baking and selling pies, she finds food service, and her pride makes her lie to eldest daugther Veda who looks down upon her mother for working. Mildred tells her she is only learning the industry so she can start her own restaurant, and the because of th...more
James M. Cain's writing style in "Mildred Pierce" isn't terribly interesting, especially when compared with that of fellow Los Angeles crime novelist Raymond Chandler, and most of the characters are relatively one-dimensional, but the plot and the depiction of pre-war Los Angeles -- specifically the suburbs of Pasadena, Glendale and Laguna Beach -- make up for many of the book's weaknesses. And has there ever been a villain as much fun to hate as Veda Pierce?

While hating Veda is fun, the reader...more
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I had originally expected. Not only is it an interesting slice of pre-war Southern California but its divorced mother/hard economy storyline resonates with the current lousy economy. The characters of Mildred and daughter Veda do a kind of slow but interesting burn throughout the book: you may not like them, in fact one you're certain to outright hate, but they certainly keep your interest, and watching them clash is a schadenfreude-filled treat. Many times I...more
Cain may have taken this quote from William James;
“The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That — with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success — is our national disease."
and brought it to life with the intergenerational portrait of Mildred and her daughter Veda.

Cain doesn’t detail much of Mildred’s past and background family particulars. Mildred’s widowed mother is hardly even present in Mildred’ life. Mrs. Ridgely is only described a...more
C S Burrough
Mar 26, 2014 C S Burrough rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
I relished this James M Cain modern classic from which several great screen adaptations have come.

Mildred, Mildred, Mildred, whatta gal! I was frequently urged to both kiss her and slap her into sense.

So sucked in was I that I reread it - a second time, then a third.

Rare for me to rave about American literature, but I'm not entirely blinkered and this really is something special, with its combined noir-tinged and poignant stylistic treatment.

Never wanted the story to end. Why could Cain not have...more
Cain wasn't just a crime novelist, but has crafted one of the great pieces of Depression fiction, a work on par with that of Sinclair Lewis. His work, however, seems often to have been misinterpreted as early feminism and this view needs to be corrected (the new HBO series touts it as about a "driven" woman and the "indolent" men in her life).

Pierce, like many Cain characters, is a spoiled, self-entitled, arrogant, narcissist who ruthlessly uses the people in her life to achieve her ends, most...more
Being a big fan of the roman noir written by Cain, I couldn't resist to watch this TV series with Kate Winslet as Mildred.
An old magic popper.
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Pulp Fiction: Mildred Pierce 8 46 Oct 29, 2012 05:00AM  
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James Mallahan Cain was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the 'roman noir'.

He was born into an Irish Catholic family in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a prominent educator and an opera singer. He inherited his love for music from h...more
More about James M. Cain...
The Postman Always Rings Twice Double Indemnity The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and Selected Stories The Cocktail Waitress (Hard Case Crime #109) Serenade

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