Dolores Claiborne is a Stephen King novel for people who think they don’t like Stephen King novels. Its horrors all have human origins and no good deed goes unpunished.
On page one, Dolores Claiborne has already been advised of her rights. Dolores is thought to have killed her wealthy employer, Vera Donovan, for whom Dolores had worked since her teens.
The rest of the novel is a transcript of what Dolores tells to the police chief and his deputy at Little Tall Island, Maine, and their stenographer.
Dolores freely admits that she killed her husband 29 years earlier during a solar eclipse. Although most people suspected her, no one could prove she did it.
Dolores says she didn’t kill Vera, although sometimes she would have liked to. Vera was a bossy, nasty, bitchy woman. After Dolores’s husband’s death, even her children didn’t want to live at home.
Dolores put up with Vera because there were few jobs available and she was used to Vera’s habits. Over the years, the women battled their own demons and each other, finally seeming to reach an armed truce.
When Vera died, she left her estate, valued at $30 million, to Dolores, which is why Dolores is being questioned.
Dolores says, “Most of what bein human’s about is makin choices and payin the bills when they come due.”
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
Bill Russell, illustrator
Viking, ©1992. 305 p.
1992 bestseller #1; my grade: A
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni