Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
In 1966, fifty years ago, The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann first exploded onto the literary scene. From there it hit the No. 1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list and made itself comfortable for an incredible twenty-eight weeks. The passage of time has had no effect on the novels legion of fans including the likes of Gloria Steinem and Lena Dunham.
“50 years later, it’s still spot on. The world’s changed immensely but the climb to the top is still a tough one.” – Michael Kors
Having never read this modern classic, the stunning 50th-anniversary edition of The Valley of the Dolls gave me the perfect opportunity to delve in and see what all the fuss is about.
Anne, Neely and Jennifer are three very different women all desperate to achieve their own idea of ‘making it.’ Anne leaves her small town American life where she’s expected to marry and settle down immediately after school and instead heads to New York. There she finds love, disappointment but a determination to survive. Neely’s been a travelling entertainer for years, singing and dancing her way across America, never believing she has the talent to make it big but her friendship with Anne takes her career to Broadway. Jennifer is an actress and a beauty, she’s on the hunt for a rich man and she knows she has the body to catch one.
Their separate journeys bring them together and as all three of them wait for rings to be slipped onto their fingers they take an apartment together. On the verge of success and happiness what could possibly go wrong for the feisty trio?
From the 1940s through to the 1960s The Valley of the Dolls follows the friendship of Anne, Neely and Jennifer through the highs and lows as women working in the entertainment industry. The men in their lives generally disappoint and to get to where they want to go drugs become the norm. They grab control of their lives however they can, often using their bodies, only going to show how little has changed in the last 50 years. This luscious tale of sex, drugs and women standing their ground in a man’s world may not be as shocking as it was when it was originally published but it feels just as fresh. It’s frank, honest and therefore often bleak but there is something for every woman to relate to in this book. Whether it’s the general struggle to ‘have it all’, to thrive in your career, looking for love in the wrong place or simply making mistakes that take you down the wrong path. The Valley of the Dolls is a timeless modern classic, if you haven’t read it yet then what are you waiting for? Now is the time!
Buy your copy of Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann