I just remembered this book, and then I thought “hey, I bet the DCIB people would like it too” and then I thought “I should restart our book club for it!” And now I am. And I am giving you 2 weeks, so you have plenty of time to find it and read it.
Laura!!!! Vera Caspary was AMAZING. The Chicago Public Library (maybe because she was originally from Chicago) has all of her books, even the ones that have been out of print for decades. And they are all really REALLY good. Her heroines are older, working, smart, successful, and complicated. Not complicated like ” a secret drug addict” but complicated like “I really love my job, but I also want to be loved and married, and how do I balance those two things, especially in the 1940s and 50s when women are supposed to be only one thing or the other?”
Laura is the only Vera Caspary book that has really lasted to present day, still in print. Largely because of the hit movie that was made of it. Laura-the-movie started the career of Clifton Webb, and inspired a hit song “Laura” by Johnny Mercer. And is one of the most romantic of all film noirs, which is a surprisingly romantic genre to begin with.
Anyway, Laura the book! It’s GREAT. You can get it on kindle through Amazon, or from your local library, or from your local book store. It’s a romance with a truly unique idea of how the hero and heroine meet. It’s also an unusual structure, multiple narrators writing multiple narrations of events so you get to see one perspective after another. And it is a FASCINATING consideration of friendship, fame, success, and male-female relationships.
If you are buying the book, try to get the Femme Fatales version. It was published by the NYU gender studies department and has a great analysis at the beginning of why this heroine is so interesting.
I promise, it’s going to be one of those books that you start, and 20 minutes later you can’t put it down. And then you will want to watch the movie.