I am halfway through Lisey’s Story and I am beginning to wonder if we’re all a little crazy and maybe we just don’t know it. Or maybe, we choose not to acknowledge that little bit of insanity that pokes through the meticulously put together shield of normalcy. Either way, Stephen King has left me confused with this one.
Lisey’s Story is about a woman whose famous writer husband passes away. We meet Lisey two years after the death when the grief comes at her full force and she begins to see messages from her dead husband. Her husband, Scott Landon was a damaged possibly deranged man with a barrage of demons. These demons were his companions when he wrote his famous stories and now these same demons are haunting Lisey. It’s an interestingly constructed story in the sense that as of right now (300 pages into a 612ish page novel) I still can’t figure out if she’s crazy or if the voices she hears and the treasure hunt she is on are real or just a figment of her imagination.
Not only that, but I think Lisey may be one of the first Stephen King characters that I don’t like. She spends much of her time questioning her own intelligence which is infuriating for the reader. Don’t get me wrong she does show amazing strength and gusto at times but in the moments where she embodies the helpless heroine waiting for her husband to save her I almost want to throw the book against the wall. It’s not just the helpless female routine it’s also the fact that this woman lived in her husband’s shadow for years and never once questioned her own place in the world. Now that he’s gone she finds herself looking at pictures of their life together and realizing that she was always on the cusp, half cut off and never really a part of his writer life or her own. She gave up her chance to have children, choosing instead to live the life he wanted for them and now he’s gone and she doesn’t understand who or what she is. It’s a book of self-discovery as much as it is a horror. Or maybe the horror is the self-discovery? Needless to say, this is a different Stephen King novel and as of right now I’m not sure how I feel about it.