I have never doubted the lengths to which my female friends say they would go to protect their children. I see this as the central theme for Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King.
I had always made the assumption that this was simply a book about abuse toward women — something I have no stomach for and didn’t really have an interest in reading a whole book about. I wasn’t entirely wrong. However, after reading it, I realized that Dolores’ motivations were not really self-preservation, rather it was the protection of her children that drove her to kill her husband.
There were a few things that made this book stand out.
The first was the absence of chapters. The book is one long afternoon/evening in which Dolores admits her guilt in one killing and explains her innocence in another. Having read A LOT of Stephen King books, I knew that he would either have epically long, or amazingly short, chapters. I started the book late one evening and flipped ahead to see how far I would have to read to get to the end of chapter 1. I did it 2 or 3 times before I realized that there were NO chapters at all. It was a little weird.
The second was that the book wasn’t completely about spousal abuse and the amount of time spent on it was very short. As stated above, I had avoided this book because I thought it was going to be 300+ pages of something I have no tolerance for. I was pleased to find that it was truly a story about a mother’s love for her children.
Finally, I was pleasantly surprised by the tie in to another of King’s novels, Gerald’s Game. Had I read the two back to back, I might have made the connection. However, it’s been several years since I read Gerald’s Game. Had the introduction not connected the two novels. I probably would have missed it completely.
Before I end with the updated Catch Up Reading Challenge list, I will share my favorite Dolores quote:
“There’s no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”
Here is an updated list of books I will be reading for the 2013 Catch Up Reading Challenge:
Wizard & Glass: The Dark Tower IV by Stephen King Wolves of the Calla: The Dark Tower V by Stephen King
- The Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI by Stephen King
- The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII by Stephen King
- The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
Carrie by Stephen King
- Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (due to be published in 2013)
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
- Joyland by Stephen King (due to be published in 2013)
The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore