Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King

Exceptions were not the point. The point was the general case. The point was history.

King & son are so bloody good.

This novel is an epic: both in its proportions and for the sheer amount of characters involved. Different plotlines intertwine into a complex and detailed tapestry that combines many different genres. King’s portrayal of a small community rings true to life: there is an authenticity in his depiction of this close-knit community that makes the both the town and its inhabitants incredibly vivid.
With the appearance of Aurora in Dooling, existing tensions within the community bubble to surface. Dooling houses a female prison which plays a large role in the novel. There are no real protagonists given that the novel follows a multitude of characters, all of which are depicted as neither good or bad. King’s gives us multi-faceted characters, some change through the course of Aurora, others remain rooted in their beliefs. I loved reading about the same scene from different perspective: by doing so, we get a fuller and fairer view on what was happening. King doesn’t side with anyone in particular: he doesn’t idealize Lila and Clint, nor does he vilify Frank or excuses the female prisoners. They are all refreshingly human.
On the one hand, you have the suspense, the thrill, created by Aurora and Evie. On the other, this novel addresses social, political, philosophical, and religious issues. As it were, King seems to use the supernatural, the ‘Other’, to confront and explore a myriad of topics.
Skillfully written and thrumming with tension, King has created an engaging and challenging novel that doesn’t shy away from depicting humanity at its worst.

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars



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