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Mildred Pierce

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  6,705 Ratings  ·  849 Reviews
Mildred Pierce had gorgeous legs, a way with a skillet, and a bone-deep core of toughness and determination. She used those attributes to survive a divorce in 1940s America with two children and to claw her way out of poverty, becoming a successful businesswoman. But Mildred also had two weaknesses: a yen for shiftless men and an unreasoning devotion to her monstrous daugh ...more
Published 1946 by Penguin Books (first published 1941)
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Mark Gruben I liked the book, actually, and I have seen both the 1945 film and the HBO remake several times. The book adds a certain depth and vibrancy that…moreI liked the book, actually, and I have seen both the 1945 film and the HBO remake several times. The book adds a certain depth and vibrancy that neither of the screen versions could capture. The HBO miniseries is relatively faithful to the book; the film version was obviously "sanitized" in order to pass muster with the censors.(less)
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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
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
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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" & "The Beach" all making themselves unforgettable with the incess ...more
Barry Pierce
I'd include this book in the genre I like to call, "Middle Class White Women Have A Really Bad Time". Other works in this genre include, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I seem to really enjoy this genre for some reason.

I came to Mildred Pierce for two reasons, one) the Joan Crawford film and two) look that's my name! Overall I did enjoy this book. You actually care about the characters, especially Mildred, which I find quite rare. The relationshi
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

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
David Schaafsma
“The hand that holds the money cracks the whip.”—Mildred Pierce

Imagine my disappointment in reading page after page of this novel, written by the author of such salacious noir thrillers as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, and discovering no murders have been committed! Not a drop of blood! And Cain has a reputation for writing about women that some see as disrespectful or even misogynous: Babes, floozies, tramps, prostitutes, con artists. In this novel, that might be describe
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun. Mother-daughter dysfunction at its finest.
Michelle Curie
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
If there's one thing I'm taking away from reading this, it's that bad things happen to good people. Unfortunately, that goes both ways. I was surprised by how this novel just sucked me in, even though there was so much to get frustrated about.

Mildred Pierce is the tale of a woman living during the Great Depression who is trying to provide for her two daughters after getting divorced from her cheating husband. The problems don't end there, as there is money to be earned and some proper family is
Alex Gradet
I want Veda Pierce to become real. So that I may punch her.
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
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What an odd, sad little book this is. I quite thought I'd have no trouble relating to Mildred at the beginning - I got hooked on, "She was a little given to rehearshing things in her mind, and having imaginary triumphs over people who has upset her in one way and another," because I do that all the time. But she ends up being such a weak, small-minded jerk that I lost any sympathy I'd had for her. (view spoiler) ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Well-written and with an interesting lead character, but it drags too long and gets a bit too soap opera-ish for my tastes. It's a cool little peek into Depression-era Los Angeles though!
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Doug H
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this was a bit like watching my mother and sister at a holiday get together except the roles are reversed and the book is way more fun.
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great
I picked up Mildred Pierce without realizing the book was written by the same author who penned The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, now after finishing Mildred Pierce, I've decided to put the latter two books to the top of my To-Read list.

Mildred Pierce is a young woman who had recently divorced her unfaithful husband and now she must look after her two daughters at the time of The Great Depression, and life isn't easy for a single mom of that time. Mildred's struggle had been m
Con una scrittura molto piacevole ed accattivante, M. Cain ha raccontato la storia di Mildred Pierce che per un certo verso si può far rientrare nella cerchia delle dark ladies tanto in voga nei romanzi degli anni '40.
Una donna pregna di un orgoglio che si trasforma in diabolica superbia nella primogenita Veda.
Il contesto è quello di un'America pre e post -depressione dove Mildred e Veda si distinguono perchè non vogliono solo sopravvivere alla crisi ma emergere e posizionarsi nelle alte sfere
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:
Apr 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this! It was like a melodramatic soap opera dated 1930s. The things parents do for their children...and ungrateful ones, too! I felt like I'd been transported back in time and I appreciated the author's knowledge on subjects like running a business and art/music. I think it was better than the movie, surprisingly. "Let's get stinko!"
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, audio-2018
This is a story about a mother's unhealthy relationship with her daughter and the mother's obsessive desire to do anything to gain love and acceptance from the daughter. Veda was a very self-centered and ungrateful daughter. She's the type of daughter who takes all the credit for her success but would blame her mother for her pitfalls. Her mother bent over backwards trying to please Veda but Veda was the daughter from hell. The book is a total family tragedy and a definite classic. James Cain is ...more
Set during depression era America, this family drama takes the reader deep into inner suburbia where a housewife, mother, and businesswoman can echo noir with the best of them.

Mildred Pierce is the type of book I imagine modern day authors such as Megan Abbott writing. It's seeped in darkness that bubbles to the surface yet never really shows its intentions. Rather using a subliminal tone delivered through deep characterization and a slight of hand twist in plot direction.

Veda, Mildred's daught
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, pulp, 1940s
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
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
“They spoke quickly, as though they were saying things that scalded their mouths, and had to be cooled with spit.”

This is a train wreck of a story. Mildred is subtly twisted, with a low grade desperation to her that kept me turning pages. The combination of her drive and her aloofness made her interesting and unpredictable, and the more that is revealed about her relationship with her daughter, the more things get dark and ugly.

“It always came back to the same thing. She was afraid of Veda, of h
Shawn Thrasher
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cain sure wrote a very character driven novel when he wrote Mildred Pierce. Hard to forget these characters because they epitomize dysfunctional.

Mildred, divorced in the early 40's when divorce was a word whispered and not spoken, has a penchant for worthless men. Although competent and successful in starting her own business, Mildred could not manage a relationship that wasn't on sinking sand. She sure knew how to pick shiftless and arrogant men. And she also knew how to use these men to her a
C.C. Cole
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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 about James M. Cain...

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“If you have to do it, you can do it.” 20 likes
“The hand that holds the money cracks the whip.” 13 likes
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