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 daughter.
Out of these elements, Cain created a novel (later made into a film noir classic) of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence - and a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable.
"[James M. Cain is] the poet of the hard-boiled school of the American novel." (
"A novel that, once begun, will almost surely be read to the end....it reflects no codes, no restrictions, and none but the primordial necessities. It is a bath in sensation." ( New York Times Book Review)
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