Rebekah's Reviews > Valley of the Dolls

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
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Jan 04, 2010

did not like it
Read in June, 2006

Having just finished Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann I really just want to cry. No character ends with a positive note. They get their dream and then find out it is sour and poison.
Set in the 50's through the 70's the women fight their situation fight for the right to have love, and finally find that the fight leaves them emotionally destroyed in a male dominated world. Arguing that women need emotional fulfillment more than a man and playing on the double cross that young women are acceptable for an older man but that no younger man will want a older woman leaves these women lost and helpless. Searching for ways to make their youth and beauty last, while they ensnare the man who will keep them in their old age.
Anne is constantly searching for passion, passion she never saw in her youth yet believed possible none the less. That passion though led her to a man who can't handle her being more powerful and eventually destroys her power though a series of betrayals of that passion.
Neely comes from nothing and along the way is seduced by hollywood and it's pill popping crazy for youth and energy and thinness. Tolerance to drugs leads her on a self destructive path. She kills her self getting to the top, believes all the hype once she is there and kills everyone around her when she falls. She takes Anne in one of her falls; Anne who was her only friend. She believes her "talent" gives her the right to destroy those around her because it is her talent that matters.
Jennifer has a slightly sadder story. She knows she is all looks and tries a few times to leverage those looks into a stable family and housewife situation, but she looses every time. Once the guy doesn't have the money or job to support her spending habits and her pushy mother hiding in the sidelines, another time the guy is mentally deficient and pushed along by a sister desperate to keep his secret. The final time after everything the man is so in love with her body she kills herself rather than let her body be deformed by cancer and allow herself to be thrown over again. it is the ultimate tragedy that every time she gets what she wants she finds that it is poison.
I long for a story where the characters don't end so horridly.
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04/24 marked as: read

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message 1: by Rb (new)

Rb Anne, the only character expected to get a happy ending, does indeed get one in the end - because she finds within herself a strong capable woman who doesn't need a man in her life in order to be a success in her own eyes.

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