This week my bookclub, Bay Bookworms discussed Mildred Pierce written in 1941 by James M. Cain.
It was at Kenny's house and he made sausage and broccolini pasta and tiramisu.
The book: Mildred Pierce is a fictional story set in Glendale, California in the Great Depression. It tells the story of a middle-class housewife who separates from her unfaithful, slothful husband and sets out to support herself and her two daughters whilst maintaining her social position. Eventually she is running three successful pie restaurants but her hardest work is appeasing her pretentious, ungrateful daughter. The book has risen to prominence again following the recent release of a HBO miniseries starring Kate Winslet. In 1945 it was made into an Oscar-winning film starring Joan Crawford.
What we thought:
Cameron: Her work ethic was commendable. I admired that she was willing to go against the trend and be a hard-working business woman. It wasn't that I disliked her, it was that I didn't understand her. How she continued to take back her daughter who was so mean to her. Ultimately, was it a period piece? Maybe in her heart she felt she wasn't worth anything.
Luiz: It was very compelling... who's Mildred sleeping with today? I really wanted to read on! No matter how badly constructed the book was, I couldn't stop reading. It was not well written but was fascinating to read about the 1930's.
Ellen: She was a challenged single mother – she couldn't have it all! (You can have it all, but just not at the same time.)
Nancy: An interesting character. She rose above the rules of the time but made some bad parenting choices. No one gets everything right in life and that is the point of being a human being. I admired her accomplishments for the era she lived in.
Susan: I really enjoyed the book. It is ironic how life is just a cycle for Mildred. She started as a housewife with Bert as a husband, and ends up years later with him again, but this time without her daughters. Does she still think the right daughter died? I felt Mildred did manipulate everyone around her and loved her daughter too blindly.
Kenny: Mildred is an example of a parent not knowing when to say no.
Our next book is Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand, a WW2 story of survival, resilience and redemption. Read along with us!