Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lisey's Story by Stephen King

I must admit that I haven't read much of Stephen King since I was in high school - which has been longer than I care to remember. I've read a few of his books here and there since then - I remember crying my eyes out while reading The Green Mile - but I just wasn't feeling that old King magic. Then I picked up Lisey's Story.

One thing I've always admired about Stephen King is his ability to craft a story, to suck the reader into his world. Often it was a place I didn't necessarily want to be, but I was hooked anyway. Lisey's Story took me a little while to get into, but once I did, I was in for the long haul.

At its heart, this book is a touching love story about a famous novelist, Scott Landon, and his wife, Lisey, who were married 25 years before the novelist's untimely death. Lisey, trying to deal with her loss 2 years later, has finally started going through Scott's papers and effects to see if there is anything of literary worth. Beginning this process unleashes a torrent of memories, most of which have been purposefully buried for most of her marriage.

Of course, being Stephen King, we soon learn that all had not been milk and honey for Scott and Lisey - Scott 's youth was a nightmare of violence and mental illness, something that ran in his family. As a youngster, Scott learned to escape to another world just beyond our own, a place that could be both beautiful and deadly. As Lisey seemingly follows clues left by her husband, she learns the true depths of despair of his childhood and revisits places she has long since buried. All the while this is going on, she is also dealing with her mentally ill sister and an even more mental psychopath who has targeted her.

This book is rich with layers of intertwining stories, all of which come together in a satisfying conclusion. Lisey Landon is a character readers will not soon forget - her strength, her humor, and most of her love - shine through in Lisey's Story.

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