Title: Bag of Bones
Author(s): Stephen King
No. of pages: 530
Publication date: September 22nd 1998
Date read: January 12th 2019
Stephen King’s most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and a lost love’s enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.
Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.
Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans’ isolated summer home.
He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath — held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here — and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
As vivid and enthralling as King’s most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls “the witty and obsessive voice of King’s powerful imagination.” It’s no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones — described by Gloria Naylor as “a love story about the dark places within us all” — he proves to be one of our most moving.
* trigger warning: this book contains a graphic scene of abuse of a woman at the end *
Always when I begin reading a book by Stephen King, it simply feels like coming home. I don’t exactly know what it is, but there’s something in his writing style that comforts me. And so, in a weird way, do his stories.
Bag of Bones has a very slow buildup. Sometimes I caught myself thinking “is this all there is to the book? Some minor thrilling parts?” Let me tell you, I was wrong in my thinking. Yes, the book has a very slow start, but the wait is definitely worth it in the end. The book eventually comes to this climax that went all the way. Maybe a little bit too far to my personal likings. Nevertheless, King did a great job on building characters, a story and tension.