So it’s been many moons since Lisey’s Story was published. You may be wondering who cares now? (Really, I have to wonder who cares what I think anyway, but that’s beside the point.) I purchased and read it the first week it was out.
Early reviews were good, great even. I went into Lisey’s Story with great expectations. To great, perhaps. While I enjoyed the novel greatly, once again I think that pre-read hype did me in.
I suffered the same thing way back when Stand by Me came out. Early reviews were through the roof, and I already loved “The Body” which it was based on. The movie was everything I expected it to be, and therefore somehow less than outstanding.
Don’t get me wrong here. Lisey’s Story is a great book. Perhaps not King’s best, but in the top five. But the story of Scott and Lisey Landon is first and foremost a love story. There are frights and haunts to be sure, but they take a back seat to the story of a love, and a marriage.
It makes me wonder about King’s marriage. His relationship with his wife Tabitha has survived poverty, riches, drug abuse, and near death, just to name the things I’m aware of. In my completely ignorant opinion, I choose to think of Lisey’s Story as a love letter to his wife as much as I think of it as a work of fiction.
Lisey is finally sorting through her deceased husband’s papers, two years after his death. She is prompted by a nosy professor, who may or may not have convinced a slightly crazed fellow to help ‘convince’ Lisey to donate them to the right place. What she finds instead are clues that Scott left behind, clues to take her back to B’ya Moon, clues to help save her life and move on with it at the same time.
The true measure of a King book for me is how many times I’m drawn back to it. That makes the champion on my bookshelf the short fiction piece “Head Down”, the story of King’s son’s little league team and their fight through the Little League Championship series. I come back to that time after time. Second is IT. I can read the scene where Stuttering Bill takes his wife on a bike ride a million times and still get tears in my eyes.
I have yet to go back to Lisey’s Story, but the main reason that I write this today is that I glanced through my bookshelf, looking for something to kill some time, and Lisey is what I pulled down.