Suspected of killing Vera Donovan, her wealthy employer, Dolores Claiborne tells police the story of her life, harkening back to her disintegrating marriage and the suspicious death of her violent husband, Joe St. George, thirty years earlier. Dolores also tells of Vera’s physical and mental decline and of her loyalty to an employer who has become emotionally demanding in recent years.
One of my goals this year is to read more Stephen King. What I mean by that is that despite being a fan and having read many of his works, there are many more I haven’t even touched. Dolores Claiborne is one such title that I’m now able to mark off of my to-read list.
Dolores Claiborne is not an extraordinary woman. Just like you and me, she toils through everyday life one step at a time. Most of her day is spent working for Vera Donovan, the rest is spent taking care of her children and ending up on the receiving end of her husband’s wrath. She’s pretty content with her life the way it is. At least, until she receives some news from her daughter regarding her husband’s actions. From there, we meet a woman who is hellbent on doing what is right by her children. Told in first person narrative, the story flows at a quick pace.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio production of Dolores Claiborne. In addition to having a great narrator, the story felt smooth and realistic. I didn’t feel like I was being dragged along at any point, and to be honest I loved the way in which Dolores described things. For instance, she fell in love with her husband because he had a smooth forehead–and that cracked me up. I also liked the way poetic justice works throughout the book.
Dolores Claiborne isn’t a horror novel, so I don’t recommend going into it looking for the trademark Stephen King scare. It’s an entirely different sort of terrifying, because it introduces readers to just how horrible human beings can be. After all, isn’t that the real horror?