Peyton Place

Peyton Place

Book - 2009
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First published in 1956, PEYTON PLACE uncovers the passions, lies and cruelties that simmer beneath the surface of a postcard-perfect town. At the centre of the novel are three women, each with a secret to hide: Constance MacKenzie, the original desperate housewife; her daughter Allison, whose dreams are stifled by small-town small-mindedness; and Selena Cross, her gypsy-eyed friend from the wrong side of the tracks.

'PEYTON PLACE shocked America with its tale of secrets, sex and hypocrisy in a small New Hampshire town . . Saucy, compelling, and surprisingly literary ... A crafty, page-turning brew of illicit sex, secret lives, public drunkenness, abortion, incest and murder ... A scandalous phenomenon' VANITY FAIR

Publisher: London : Virago, 2009, c1954
ISBN: 9781844086214
Branch Call Number: METAL
Characteristics: 475 p


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Nov 11, 2012

This book can easily be taken out of context of its original closeted 50s: domestic abuse considered normal as long as you pay your taxes, alcoholism with no consequences but unwanted pregnancies and homosexuality hidden at all costs. For this, Cameron's introduction is a must read because it sets the stage: this novel is a shocker to be sure, full of terrible secrets, but it's also a critique of the times - the hypocrisy, the lies, the un-lived lives due to shame.
Passages of the book are lengthy (book 3 with Allison's pseudo-emancipation, notably), the weather imagery is rather heavy, but there are also some terrible, cruel remarks which resonate today still, including Harrington's buy-off of Betty Anderson or Swain's torment over his act.
This novel is a mix: soap opera and social criticism - either way, the reader will be rewarded.

Oct 01, 2012

I have always enjoyed reading peyton place over the years. I hope others enjoy it too. It seems things happen in small towns just like in big cities.

Nov 17, 2011

I can certainly see how this would have shocked and appalled people when it first came out. In a post-modern context it now seems, for the most part, fairly tame. As a classic small-town novel, it reads very well.

MsStella Dec 21, 2010

Classic read, about small town life that still applies to today.

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