Janie Johnson's Reviews > Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2014-challenge

This was the first book I chose to read for the Spookfest Read-A-Thon and one of the few I have not read of Stephen King's works. Let me first say that this is not a horror book as I first thought it would be coming from Stephen King. It is, in a way, a mix of historical fiction and mystery. I loved that and I have to say that it was very engaging, very fluid and easy to read. King tells a very powerful tale with this book.

In this book we have a woman named Delores Claiborne, whose husband died 30 years ago, and is now being questioned for the death of Vera Donovan, a woman that she worked for as a housekeeper. This story is her account of the time spent with Ms. Donovan up till her death. Since the people of Little Tall Island have been waiting for 30 years to find out what really happened when her husband had died, she felt she had no choice but tell everything she knew and give her own testimony to these events.

I really enjoyed this story a lot but I did have a couple of issues with the book itself. I did not enjoy the style of writing for this one because it was wrote in a way that Dolores was flashbacking as she shared her account of everything to Andy Bissette, the detective handling this case. So there was not much dialogue to the story. Thankfully it did not hinder the fluidity all that much. Also there were no chapters to this book so really no markers or divisions in the story at all. Other than that I loved the premise of the story, the imagery and the characters. I also loved the historical elements to the book as well. Taking us back to the 1960's where women were not really viewed as the stronger sex and had to be 'taught' certain lessons in their homes and kept in line. Hard to believe things were like that and I think King did well with bringing these issues to light.

I really found that I loved Delores, and to me she is one of the most unforgettable of King's characters. She did not live a simple life at all. She had a drunk as a husband and she had to work hard her entire life just to make ends met. She makes horrifying discoveries within her family and has to deal with that as well. Despite these issues she deals with, she is still very strong. She also learned from mistakes, she stood up for herself and her children, and she told it how it was most times. She had a great love for her children, and had great family values until things would go a bit far and then she was hell on wheels. I find that she was probably the only character that I really liked in this story even if her actions were sometimes questionable.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of history, mystery and a little thriller thrown in. Stephen King is so diverse I am convinced that he can write anything and this book is sure to please just about anyone. I am giving this book a 4.5 stars.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 25, 2014 – Shelved
October 25, 2014 – Finished Reading
November 17, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014-challenge

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I Hi Janie :) I Love the movie 'so' much, but have yet to read the book. Can't wait to read your thoughts!! HappynReading and I hope you're well.


Janie Johnson Thanks so much! I really liked this book a lot and look forward to seeing the movie now.


message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I Janie wrote: "Thanks so much! I really liked this book a lot and look forward to seeing the movie now."



Awesome :D I'm so happy you liked it. Maybe I'll end up reading the book while you're watching the movie. I can't buy it for at least a week though. Enjoy the movie!! Dark atmospheric and fantastic with Kathy Bates as always especially in "Misery".

I'm sorry my posts and comments are slow, short and sometimes no replies for a long time. I haven't been well for a very long time and things just get worse by the day and it's been five years so I'm ready to rip my head and skin off. Chronic pain, illness from many sources. It crisis at this point so I'm slow to reply when I 'really' want to with enthusiasm. I miss that ability so much! Doing my best and hope you're doing great!! We have to talk Jodie Picoult asap. I'd Love that.


message 4: by Debbie "DJ" (new)

Debbie "DJ" Great review! Loved the movie .


message 5: by Janie (last edited Oct 26, 2014 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janie Johnson M. Lynn no worries at all you take your time with your replies, I don't always reply quickly myself and sometimes not at all because I pass them by or GR does not tell me. LOL I could totally envision Kathy Bates in this book and I look forward to seeing it.

As far as Jodi Picoult goes, I am a part of a buddy read with the book Lone Wolf on Nov 2 if you would like to join us on that. It is just 2 of us reading it and we would love to have you.


Janie Johnson Debbie "DJ" wrote: "Great review! Loved the movie ."

Debbie thanks it was so enjoyable and I feel like King really captured women's issues in the 1960's. A powerful story with an unforgettable character.


message 7: by Debbie "DJ" (new)

Debbie "DJ" Think I may have to read the book as well :)


Janie Johnson You really should. I still did not get time to watch the movie today it was pumpkin carving day. LOL Maybe tomorrow.


message 9: by Debbie "DJ" (new)

Debbie "DJ" Oh how fun...pumpkin carving! Enjoy the movie when you get a chance...I added the book :)


message 10: by ✨Susan✨ (last edited Nov 26, 2014 07:46AM) (new)

✨Susan✨ Great review Janie. I have not read the book but the movie was fantastic with excellent actors. Highly suggest it. Hope we can do a buddy read for some Christmas funreads :)


message 11: by Janie (last edited Nov 27, 2014 07:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janie Johnson Susan I did watch the movie..lol...directly after I finished the book. I really liked both of them a lot!

Susan, I bought the book The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle. I will be reading that one some time in December. I also have Mrs. Miracle which I might read because I discovered that there is a Mr. Miracle and Walmart had it. So I might have to get that one too. LOL


Jason Pellegrini This was one of my favorite books by him.


Janie Johnson I agree Jason I really enjoyed it a lot. I can't believe it took me this long to read it though. LOL


message 14: by ✨Susan✨ (new)

✨Susan✨ Let me know when you are going to read The 13th gift, I would love a buddy read.


Janie Johnson Susan when are you free for December to do it?


message 16: by ✨Susan✨ (new)

✨Susan✨ I have a buddy read of The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror on the 12th but other than that wide open.


Janie Johnson ok lets count on what the 15th maybe?


message 18: by ✨Susan✨ (new)

✨Susan✨ Sounds good. Are you going to post it?


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