Greatest Literature banner

Mildred Pierce

Critique • Quotes • At the movies

Mildred Pierce first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication

Literary form

Literary, psychological thriller

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 98,000 words

Notable lines

In the spring of 1931, on a lawn in Glendale, California, a man was bracing trees.

— First line she saw this man slip out of her life, the only clear thought in her head was that now she had no way to deliver the cake.


By nine, Mildred was powdered, puffed, perfumed, and patted to that state of semi-transparency that a woman seems to achieve when she is really dressed to go out.


"But it turned out he wasn't interested in love. He was interested in meat. He said it enriched the tone."


"All coloratura, they got, 'ow you say ? — da gimmies. Always take, never give."


Then she got up, went to Monty's mirror, and began combing her hair, while little cadenzas absentmindedly cascaded out of her throat, and cold drops cascaded over Mildred's heart. For Veda was stark naked. From the massive, singer's torso, with the Dairy quaking in front, to the slim hips, to the lovely legs, there wasn't so much as a garter to hide a path of skin.


"Come on, we got each other, haven't we? Let's get stinko."
"Yes—let's get stinko.".

— Last line


Critique • Quotes • At the movies