Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Valley Of The Dolls Book Review

I'm a sucker for a good classic book - although this normally means that my favourite books land somewhere between Frankenstein and Dracula but in this case, I decided to stray a little further out of my usual gothic comfort zone. I bought this, and started it, earlier this year when Katy and I travelled to London but found it difficult to read and so, being the trooper that I'm not, I promptly cast it aside and completely forgot to give it a second go until earlier this month.

valley of the dolls cover

I expected this to be super girly and it definitely starts out like that - we follow Anne to New York as she moves away from her past and towards her dream future. Anne is a typical underdog - she's pretty and yet seemingly unaware, her opportunities fall to her due to luck and, along the way, she meets our other two narrators - Jen and Neely. The three women couldn't be more different - Anne wants a future for herself irregardless of the men in her life, Neely seeks out both fame and stability with a husband and Jennifer is comfortable in her fame and just wants to be comfortable. Along the way, we learn a valuable life lesson that doesn't end happily - life doesn't always go as you might want it to.

We follow the three narrators across 20 years of their lives - from when they meet as girls, through their respective careers as women, and we see them face the hardships of women under a spotlight as they grow older and things in their life are no longer as straightforward as when they met. Although the blurb may fool you into thinking that this novel is all about narcotics, it wouldn't be correct - more than anything I read it as the effects of a high profile life, and how easy it can be to find happiness through less than natural means.

All in all - I found this book captivating and gripping, but I wouldn't say that I liked it. I found it difficult to read, there were various parts written by each narrator that I found triggering - I found the description of women to be poor and yet, I feel that that's exactly the point. I don't think this is a book that you're meant to read on holiday, it's one to make you think, it's one perfect for the times that it's set (1945-1965) it's one that is unapologetic and, although I wouldn't say that I liked it, it's definitely something that I came to enjoy about it.

All in all, it's not a book that I would be adding to a suitcase to take it away but it's definitely one that I didn't regret reading.

What's the best book that you've read lately?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Red Queen Book Review

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