Yep! I am currently on a Stephen King reading spree! Dolores Claiborne was the latest novel I read by him, and it was intense! First of all, the format of the novel was very original. Dolores was arrested for murder, and the entire novel was narrated by her in the same conversational manner she used when she spoke to the stenographer recording her statement to the police. Secondly, this was a dark, family drama full of mystery and murder, and perfect for reading on Halloween.
I knew there was a murder in the story, but I didn’t realize how sinister and dark the events leading up to the murder would be. At times it was hard to read them. Dolores married her high school boyfriend at a very young age when she discovered she was pregnant. The marriage was doomed from the start, but really turned dismal when her husband started to physically abuse her. Dolores took a job as a caregiver to Vera, a nasty woman who blatantly disrespected everyone around her. The job emotionally wore Dolores down, and was another low point in her life.
There wasn’t much about this story that was positive or happy. I suppose that was to really get across the point that Dolores’ life was miserable, but it made for a long and hard read. Dolores was a simple woman who didn’t have much, and didn’t want much. She just wanted to make money and be a good mom. When she wasn’t even able to protect her children, she reacted in a way that took more courage than she had mustered during the entire book. I was intrigued with Dolores and wanted to see if she would be able to change her tragic life into a happy one. Although I was satisfied with the ending, I thought King threw away a major aspect of the book by retelling huge events in Vera’s life in only a few pages rather than exploring them more fully through Dolores’ interactions with her as her caregiver.
The thing with all Stephen King’s novels is that they are so well written, I get pulled into them regardless of how bizarre the story is. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this novel due to the content and dark subject matter, but I would certainly encourage readers to pick up a novel by this writing master!