I don’t remember how I ended up on this page, but these book reviews of Mildred Pierce are awesome. My personal favorite:
“If there are more vicious quarrels in print than those in which these characters indulge their sadism I have not seen them. (…) That this is a novel that, once begun, will almost surely be read to the end is understandable, for it has in it the deep, slow pull of the ancient ooze where worms and serpents crawled; it reflects no codes, no restrictions, and none but the primordial necessities. It is a bath in sensation.” – Robert van Gelder, The New York Times Book Review
That sounds a little extreme to me, but it’s a review from a very different time (1941). The reviewer is repulsed by the dysfunctional relationships and the dysfunctional characters involved. I see a kind of continuity, or progression, from the problematic business relationships of Red Harvest and the bizarre Arturo-Camilla-Sammy triangle of Ask the Dust to the loving family of Mildred Pierce.
I also found illustrator John Webster’s just-for-fun book cover redesign for Mildred Pierce. Reminds me of ds106…