Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review: MILDRED PIERCE by James M Cain

Publisher Blackstone Audio
Length 10 hours
Format audio-book
Published 2007 (originally published 1941)
Series Standalone
My Copy borrowed from the library

My Review
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 daughter is something else. Self centered, manipulative, and plain bitchy, she has no redeemable qualities yet its her character that makes the book. Mildred comes off as a sap, bending to her daughters every request until finally a gross wrong is done to her. By that time it's too late to turn back; the drama dead in the dust.  

Mildred Pierce is a classic that largely held my attend but it was prone to lapses of semi-boredom where nothing much seemed to happen. That said, given this book was written so long ago, it holds up remarkably well. 

The audio version suffered from a narrator that struggled to make the characters distinguishable at times, particularly early on in the novel. That said, the pitch and breathless delivery fit the tone of the novel perfectly.  

Overall, I give Mildred Pierce 3/5 stars. 

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