The last few King books that I’ve read haven’t really been my favorite, Bag of Bones included. I hope to pick one up that can lite that spark for the love of all things King again soon! When I read the blurb for Bag of Bones I was certain that I’d enjoy it… I mean, a writer being haunted by his wife at a like house that they shared… what’s not to love? Sadly, more than I expected.
Mike lost his wife in an accident and hasn’t quite been himself since. He’s a loner, with no desire to do much aside from crossword puzzles and be alone. He’s even struggled to write which is his bread earning passion after all. He begins having strange dreams, very strange, and decides to spend time at his lake side cabin for a while to see if the lingering energy of his late wife might help him get his ambition and creativity back. It doesn’t take long after his arrival for the odd goings on to really kick it up a notch. You see, his wife isn’t the only spirit around. There’s also the spirit of Sarah, a singer/performer from a very very long time ago. Mike is fixated on her, so when he comes across a struggling young mother with some physical similarities to Sarah it’s no surprise that he gets a bit hung up on her.
Mattie is her name. She’s a lot younger than him, which isn’t a big deal to me, but the way it’s written makes it seem like Mike really dwells on the age difference. He feels it’s wrong in a way because she’s barely legal and he’s (I don’t remember exactly how old 40s or 50s) but a lot older anyway. He points it it out non-stop. To the point that it feels off, and a bit on the creepy side in my opinion. Anyway, Mattie also lost her spouse. They’d only been together a short time before he passed, but it was long enough to have a baby. Her late husband’s father is a multi-billionaire and he wants custody of his only grandchild. Because Mike has taken a liking to Mattie, he pays for a lawyer and helps her fight the battle.
In the meantime, his hauntings get more and more extreme. His dreams are stranger and more threatening. Jo, his wife, and Sarah are really giving it to him hard -yes, pun intended lol. Ultimately, there’s a twist that solves Mattie’s trouble with the father in law, yet other threats come to play that you never see coming and they’re even worse than a custody battle. Mike’s battle with his inner demons along with the spirits around him all come to a head and the ending is one big confusing whammy. I walked away cringing and scratching my head. 3 stars for me.
Set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, a powerful tale of grief, of love’s enduring bonds, and the haunting secrets of the past.
Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving following the sudden death of his wife Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his computer.
Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares, all set at the Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike returns to the lakeside getaway. There he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who will do anything to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both mother and child, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
First published in 1998, Bag of Bones was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. It was lauded at its publication as “hands down, Stephen King’s most narratively subversive fiction” (Entertainment Weekly) and his “most ambitious novel” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).