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attempts to make it big in the Broadway-Hollywood entertainment world. The story begins in the 1940s and follows their marriages, careers, and decline into alcohol and pharmaceuticals (“dolls”) over two decades. There is a large cast of truly reprehensible people in this book, and it is hard for a reader to find one to like. Still, their stories race and the reader is constantly trying to match the charac- ters to their real-life counterparts on stage and screen. It’s just plain gossipy. In reading the book, one can empathize with our mothers and grandmothers in that era, and thank one’s lucky stars that Gloria Steinem and the feminists came along when they did. While the position of women has improved and still has a long way to go, today’s women are a far cry from the world of Susann’s characters trapped in extreme beliefs about women’s places, roles and bodies. It gives a reader whiplash to read about drinking while preg- nant, men as sole breadwinners, marrying for money and position as the only option, and the nonchalant use of words like frigid and faggot. As for attitudes and treatments of cancer and mental health, the book is a chilling reminder of how far medicine has come. Page Turners were surprised to discover that Susann was a cap- tivating writer and that she knew what makes readers, well, turn pages. They recommend the book as a good summer read, and for its introspection of American society, and our country’s naiveté when it started down the path of drugs. Valley of the Dolls makes it clear that there was so much that we didn’t know then, and so much we have yet to repair. Favorites Reads from Page Turners All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doer Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, Andrew X. Pham  Good Cop, Bad Daughter: Memoirs of an Unlikely Police Officer, Karen Lynch Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline Patron Saint of Lost Dogs, Nick Trout The Book Thief, Markus Zusak Good Lord Bird, James McBride The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion The Whip, Karen Kondazian Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand SHERRY HEMINGWAY spent her childhood after lights out with a book and flashlight under the covers. With degrees from Kent State University and Harvard University, her lifelong career was in journalism and public rela- tions. Her hobbies are travel in (very) remote countries, volunteering, and two book clubs. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 gmhtoday.com 73