Insatiable Appetites: Twentieth-Century American Women’s Bestsellers by Madonne M. Miner. I very much enjoyed this one. She examines Gone with the Wind, Forever Amber, Peyton Place, Valley of the Dolls, and Scruples. I read all but the chapter on Scruples.
She more-or-less claims that American women have loved reading about these characters who have lost or have trouble with their mothers. The characters have insatiable appetites for food and material goods because their mothers didn’t properly nourish them.
I never read Gone with the Wind or Forever Amber and now I think I might try them. I did read as much as I could of Peyton Place but I didn’t enjoy that. I doubt if I’ll ever try Scruples or Valley of the Dolls. I saw part of the movie version of Valley of the Dolls.