Internationally bestselling romance author Nora Roberts (who also writes a futuristic detective series under the pseudonym J.D. Robb) reviews Stephen King's upcoming romantic thriller, Lisey's Story (Scribner).
Stephen King hooked me about three decades ago with that sharply faceted, blood-stained jewel, The Shining. Through the years he's bumped my gooses with kiddie vampires, tingled my spine with beloved pets gone rabid, justified my personal fear of clowns and made me think twice about my cell phone. I've always considered The Stand--a long-time favorite--a towering tour de force, and have owed its author a debt as this was the first novel I could convince my older son to read from cover to cover.
But with Lisey's Story, King has accomplished one more feat. He broke my heart.
Lisey's Story is, at its core, a love story--heart-wrenching, passionate, terrifying and tender. It is the multi-layered and expertly crafted tale of a twenty-five year marriage, and a widow's journey through grief, through discovery and--this is King, after all--through a nightmare scape of the ordinary and extraordinary. Through Lisey's mind and heart, the reader is pulled into the intimacies of her marriage to bestselling novelist Scott Landon, and through her we come to know this complicated, troubled and heroic man.
Two years after his death, Lisey sorts through her husband's papers and her own shrouded memories. Following the clues Scott left her and her own instincts, she embarks on a journey that risks both her life and her sanity. She will face Scott's demons as well as her own, traveling into the past and into Boo'ya Moon, the seductive and terrifying world he'd shown her. There lives the power to heal, and the power to destroy.
Lisey Landon is a richly wrought character of charm and complexity, of realized inner strength and redoubtable humor. As the central figure she drives the story, and the story is so vividly textured, the reader will draw in the perfumed air of Boo'ya Moon, will see the sunlight flood through the windows of the Scott's studio--or the night press against them. Her voice will be clear in your ear as you experience the fear and the wonder. If your heart doesn't hitch at the demons she faces in this world and the other, if it doesn't thrill at her courage and endurance, you're going to need to check with a cardiologist, first chance.
Lisey's Story is bright and brilliant. It's dark and desperate. While I'll always consider The Shining, my first ride on King's wild Tilt-A-Whirl, a gorgeous, bloody jewel, I found, on this latest ride, a treasure box heaped with dazzling gems.
A few of them have sharp, hungry teeth.
Lisey's Story hits bookstores on October 24, 2006.