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 in the midst of the Depression. 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 of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence and a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable.
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