Books

Bag of Bones

Posted by Katie on March 07, 2009
Books / No Comments

Dave and I were reading our separate books the other night…

“How’s your Stephen King book?”

“Good.”

“Did the ghost eat anybody yet?”

“No.  But the ghost did save the main character’s life.”

“What?”

“Oh, and the ghost moves the magnets on the refrigerator around.”

“That’s disappointing.  When did Stephen King write a book called Casper the Friendly Ghost?  You should get your money back.”

I had a craving for a scary book last weekend, so I picked up Stephen King’s Bag of Bones at the bookstore.  I had not read one of his books since the early 90’s when, as a teenager, I found his work to be the perfect rebellious combination of swear words, sex and paranormal activity.  I remembered enjoying the scary stories, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy King’s witting style.

A classic literary masterpiece, this book is not.  It is, however, a decent scary story with strong character development.  King is always a good story teller and creates very vivid and complex characters.  He is also good at weaving together multiple themes and story lines, without leaving out any of the important details.

The story revolves around Michael Noonan, a best-selling author from Maine whose wife dies suddenly in the beginning of the book.  Mike falls into a serious case of writer’s block after his wife’s death, and has a series of scary dreams about his wife and their vacation home.  Mike returns to their vacation home to face his fears, and discovers that his wife was keeping secrets from him before her death.  Did she know about the ghosts?  While at the vacation home, Mike saves the life of a small neighbor girl, Kyra Devore, who was walking down the middle of the road while running away to the beach.  Mike starts to fall in love with Kyra’s mother, a young widow, and becomes subsequently involved in a custody battle for the child against the wealthy and powerful grandfather, Max Devore.  The story is a combination of love story, tragedy and ghost story (of course!) with a strong focus on memory, both personal memory and the collective memory of the community.

Shockingly, the internet seems to contradict itself on this matter, but the movie version of Bag of Bones is either in “pre-production” or “production”.

The book satisfied my craving for a good scary story, and rekindled my interest in King’s writing.  It does not warrant the title of Casper the Friendly Ghost, as the ghost story involves much more than refrigerator magnets that are moved around, I promise!

Another of King’s book that I started to read as a teenager but did not finish is the 700+ page classic, Needful Things.  I think I will go back and read it sometime soon.

The Age of Innocence

Posted by Katie on January 24, 2009
Books, Marriage / 3 Comments

“He perceived with a flash of chilling insight that in the future many problems would be thus negatively solved for him; but as he paid the hansom and followed his wife’s long train into the house he took refuge in the comforting platitude that the first six months were always the most difficult in marriage.  “After that I suppose we shall have pretty nearly finished rubbing off each other’s angles.” he reflected; but the worst of it was that May’s pressure was already bearing on the very angles whose sharpness he most wanted to keep.”

This is a quote from my most recent book club read, The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.  This book, published in 1920, is set in the 1870’s amongst New York’s wealthy upper class.  It is a sharp commentary on society at the time and the things that make up a marriage, both from the external social perspective and from behind closed doors.  This book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1921, the first Pulitzer Prize ever to be awarded to a woman.

Dave and I are pretty lucky to have had a good start to our marriage.  So we got evicted, what of it?  That might have ruined us socially in 1870’s New York, but is not so important to making a marriage really work.  That being said, put any two people who have made a commitment before God to love and honor each other all the days of their lives under the same roof, and they are going to try to correct some of those sharp angles that they see in each other.

So what are your keys to marital happiness?  Did you get to keep any of the “very angles whose sharpness you most wanted to keep”?