Posted in Book Reviews

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Oh, to be a young hot diva rising in the city of dreams…

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I suppose first I owe an apology. I had meant to have this review posted at the end of November, but for some reason I was convinced there was thirty one days in the month hence my tardiness.

But aside from my lack of competence and commitment to my blog I would love to share with you this amazing November read written by the incredible woman Jacqueline Susann.

I think a huge part of the appeal in this story was that it starts out with a young woman who moves to New York City in September to begin an independent life. September fifth marks the day I did the very same, and for the first thirty or so pages I had never found a story so relatable to my own. I was enthralled with the character Anne because it was like reading an extension of myself.

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When you move out on your own for the first time the excitement of possibility is enough to build any place into what you imagine it to be. It’s a beginning to your own creation, having the freedom of becoming whatever you are ready to pursue becoming. An artist, ambitious lawyer, or even climbing social light, where else could be a more perfect place to persue these things then the endless possibilities of New York?

In a way alike my last book review I appreciated the rawness of the story. The characters were so human. They made honest decisions, became very unique individuals, and continued to grow through out the story.

Another very fascinating aspect of the story was reading the very similar New York dream happening in a different time period. The novel travels through time from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. It was very enthralling seeing the goals of men and woman around the time period post war. Stability was the dream. Things such as marrying to a wealthy man steady  on his feet and finding a gorgeous woman to manage the house were paradise.

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The common denominator the really connects these women (aside from their rising glamorous lives) is that they all encounter dependency on what they refer to as “dolls.” Little pills that aid them to getting the life they desire, whether it be more beauty rest or a thinner waist, the pills find their way into each of their lives for better and for worse.

Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

It’s hard writing book reviews because I would love to discuss further and deeper about all the trials and successes the three women go through, but my goal is to tempt you into the story not spoil it for you.

The love life of these women is probably still the most honest and comparable to today then anything else I have read. The ending is not sugar coated, yet it’s not overly painful and heart tearing either. Though I do admit I sat in quite a subdued state of shock for a while after I finished the last page.

All in all this book really awakened the inner diva inside me. As I was reading it I felt ready to fall in love, become heart broken, and wear my pain in the sparkliest of diamonds around my neck. Jacqueline Susann (the author) did a fantastic job of connecting the reader to the characters so that even if you aren’t in a big glamorous city you felt as if you just moved there too and were facing the harsh beautiful realities in the life of a star.

If you have the time, and are looking for a book to pop open now and again while you are commuting to and form work I definitely recommend you give “Valley of the Dolls” a go. It will motive that inner tigress inside you as well as entertain and excite you if you need a little break from that nine to five job.

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I also encourage you to look up a little more about the author Jacqueline. I won’t go too deeply into her background, but a lot of her writing seams to stem from a very personal place in her heart and history of her past. When a writer is so willingly ready to open up to their readers you know the story will be gripping.

I hope you have enjoyed this review and are tempted to look a little closer to find a copy of this wonderful novel. My december read will be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon so look forward to upcoming material! I also posted my first short story and am really getting some inspiration to write a few more so stay tuned…

A lot is happening with lots of great changes in life! I promise to stay dedicated to my blog and post material monthly. The year is flying by so quickly I can hardly believe it is almost the beginning of a new year.

Stay glamorous my friends! Keep aspiring to your dreams, falling in love, and above all get lost in the amazing world of books.

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Author:

Greetings from your Bohemian Queen! A lover of life, a lover of love, a lover of adventure and above all a lover of experience. Keep up with this blog to share with me the extraordinary journey's that some incredible books have taken me on, get lost in the occasional short story or two and laugh with me at the struggles that are my day to day life as an introvert. New postings are at the end of each month.

2 thoughts on “Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

  1. I read this book a couple of years ago and liked the different plots and agree with the way it is strangely relateable. Only prob I found was that it could perhaps have benefitted from some brevity in some parts – what did you think? Bronte

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    1. Yes and no. I think you have to be a more focused reader to fully appreciate reading that takes time like this one, because even I (who will plow through a shorter novel in one night) liked that it had good points where I could set it down and take a break. I don’t think she could take away too much of the story to make it more anticipating without ruining the power of it’s very true to life essence. In a way I sort of want to compare the style/timeline to the way Anna Karenina is written. It’s a gigantic novel and it’s not always thrilling but it’s written honest to very real lifestyles and characters.

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