Read Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain Free Online
Book Title: Mildred Pierce|
The size of the: 9.68 MB
Edition: Orion Publishing Group
Date of issue: June 1st 2011
The author of the book: James M. Cain
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9781780220727
Read full description of the books Mildred Pierce: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 skills into a successful restaurant.
So Mildred could be a great example of feminine independence as a single mother who becomes a small business owner thanks to her hard work and careful planning. On the other hand, Mildred is often a conflicted mess with an inferiority complex who can never find the balance between living too cheaply or too extravagantly, and she’s got horrible taste in men.
And then there’s her daughter Veda.
Veda is an exceptional instance of a writer creating a character that you just love to hate with this snobby manipulative child who looks down her nose at the mother who supports her and grows into something even worse.
Damn, did I love to hate Veda.
I hated her so much that I hoped that Mildred would sell her off to work in a Depression-era sweatshop in which there was some kind of dangerous machinery that would mangle her.
I hated Veda so much that I hoped she’d get polio.
I hated Veda so much that I hoped she’d take an airplane ride with Amelia Earhart.
I hated Veda so much that I hoped she’d end up traveling with the Joad family so she’d get all the misery she so richly deserved.
I hated Veda so much that I started hating Mildred for loving her.
Since Cain created a couple of classic noir femme fatales in The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, it’s interesting that he wrote this book about the complex and unhealthy relationship between a mother and a daughter that also took a long look at what it was like for women of the era.
Read information about the authorJames 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 his mother, but his high hopes of starting a career as a singer himself were thwarted when she told him that his voice was not good enough.
After graduating from Washington College where his father, James W. Cain served as president, in 1910, he began working as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun.
He was drafted into the United States Army and spent the final year of World War I in France writing for an Army magazine. On his return to the United States he continued working as a journalist, writing editorials for the 'New York World' and articles for 'American Mercury'. He also served briefly as the managing editor of 'The New Yorker', but later turned to screenplays and finally to fiction.
Although Cain spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays, his name only appears on the credits of three films, 'Algiers', 'Stand Up and Fight', and 'Gypsy Wildcat'.
His first novel (he had already published 'Our Government' in 1930), 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' was published in 1934. Two years later the serialized, in 'Liberty Magazine', 'Double Indemnity was published.
He made use of his love of music and of the opera in particular in at least three of his novels: 'Serenade' (about an American opera singer who loses his voice and who, after spending part of his life south of the border, re-enters the States illegally with a Mexican prostitute in tow), 'Mildred Pierce' (in which, as part of the subplot, the only daughter of a successful businesswoman trains as an opera singer) and 'Career in C Major', a short semi-comic novel about the unhappy husband of an aspiring opera singer who unexpectedly discovered that he has a better voice than she does.
He continued writing up to his death at the age of 85, his last three published works, 'The Baby in the Icebox' (1981), Cloud Nine (1984) and The Enchanted Isle (1985) being published posthumously. However, the many novels he published from the late 1940s onward never quite rivaled his earlier successes.
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