The Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Sussan
Paperback, 448 pages
First published 1966
Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight—for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn’t matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three women become best friends when they are young and struggling in New York City and then climb to the top of the entertainment industry—only to find that there is no place left to go but down—into the Valley of the Dolls.
Oh my goodness this book!
I expected a good trashy read and this book definitely begins as that. Starlets and sex, movie stars and affairs! I didn’t expect this book to evoke a real connection to the characters and so many emotions! I was up and down and hopeful and crushed and then the cycle would begin again. Addiction, infidelity, sexism and the ruin caused by celebrity – this book got heavy!
Anne, Neely and Jennifer – my heart broke a bit when those dolls appeared, knowing their individual paths might to go into the bottles, but I absolutely did not expect their paths to vary so much. The Valley of the Dolls left me thinking about how far women can go for love and how little we love ourselves.
This is the 50th anniversary of publication and I think this is a book that holds up to the years. I’m already pushing it on my friends (watch out Holly)!
Now I have to see the movie!