So it is pretty hard for me to give an objective review of a Stephen King book as I am what you would call a King junkie or as he calls it a Constant Reader. But the thing is really it is not like you are reading this review thinking, “Who is this Stephen King I keep hearing about? I wonder if he is any good?” You likely are already a fan, a disgruntled fan or a detractor. I fall into the straight up fan category meaning I don’t really complain about the quality of his later works and all of that. Nobody is perfect but I can always count on King to give me a good time and that is all that matters to me.
So Doctor Sleep is the latest King novel that I read and surprise, I liked it. For anyone not familiar, this book is a sequel to “The Shining”. I read the shining about 13 years ago as I remember it was when I was working as a toy crane machine stuffer and my route took me through this winding road that reminded me of what I think Colorado would be like. I remember taking my breaks and reading the tale of Jack Torrance and his family. I don’t remember everything about the book but I do remember Jack’s struggles with alcoholism, the scary hedge maze and topiary animals and of course the boiler. I was glad to be able to revisit the characters from this book and see how things worked out for Danny Torrance.
I was hunting through Goodreads to find something good to read and stumbled upon this book after someone recommended it over another addiction book that I was considering. I like to read addiction books, above all else for the hope that people can change. There is also the “Intervention” type of reason that I like these books, it makes me feel a bit better about my own choices to see someone else so much worse off than myself. (Side note, I miss Van Vonderen)
One of the drawbacks to being so far behind on my book reviews is that I lose many of the thoughts that I may have had about a particular book and then writing the review becomes much harder. I have started writing myself notes in my drafts but alas this one has no notes. One big thing that sticks out in my memory about this one is my audio book drama so I will relay that to you all, lucky you!
I resisted reading this book for some time as I don’t read many young adult novels as I am not a young adult. Not that I don’t think that adults shouldn’t read YA fiction (I reallly enjoyed Hunger Games for example) but it is not generally my first choice. This book to me seemed like a Nicholas Sparks type of book, which is another type of fiction that I don’t generally read. I decided to read this one as I happened upon a free copy and so I decided to see what the fuss was all about.
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain was the first book that I finished reading in 2014. I read this book as I decided to go to a meeting of the girly book club. I have been a part of Cannonball Read for 5 years now (wow how time flies!) but in the spirit of getting out of my comfort zone I decided to get together with some real live humans and maybe even make some friends along the way (spoiler, I didn’t make any friends).
First of all about the book. Necessary Lies is a tale of eugenics, empathy and changes in reproductive freedoms. Set in North Carolina in the early 60s and loosely based on actual events, this tale takes us through a turbulent time for both a young woman (Ivy) living in poverty on a tobacco farm and another young woman (Jane) starting out a career as a social worker with little experience or world knowledge. Ivy does her best to hold her family together, but is often left responsible for the care of her young nephew and her elderly aunt. Her sister has limited intelligence, and Ivy worries often that she will become pregnant again leaving Ivy to take care of more children. Ivy doesn’t worry enough about herself, and despite efforts from social workers to educate her, she denies her own involvement with any sexual activity. Jane is a doctor’s wife who although recently married, decides to secretly take the birth control pill and seek out a career in social work despite her husband’s concerns. The two women of course meet through Jane’s work and Jane becomes Ivy’s advocate, to her own professional peril.