December 17, 2021

Looking Back - Bag of Bones

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

1998 Scribner Book Company
Read in December 2000
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Stephen King's most gripping and unforgettable novel, Bag of Bones, is a story of grief and a lost love's enduring bonds, of a new love haunted by the secrets of the past, of an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire.

Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of 40-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor.

Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans' isolated summer home.

He finds his beloved Yankee town familiar on its surface, but much changed underneath -- held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: 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 of them, 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?

As vivid and enthralling as King's most enduring works, Bag of Bones resonates with what Amy Tan calls 'the witty and obsessive voice of King's powerful imagination.' It's no secret that King is our most mesmerizing storyteller. In Bag of Bones -- described by Gloria Naylor as 'a love story about the dark places within us all' -- he proves to be one of our most moving.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Fantastic! King has such a talent for sucking you in from the very first page. I couldn't put it down, but had to several times (at night), so I wouldn't have nightmares. Creepy story, but oh, so good!

My Current Thoughts:

This is one of my favorite books by Stephen King. After 21 years, I still have a vivid memory of a scene involving magnetic alphabet letters on a refrigerator. Eeek! Creepy. Still, I would love to read it again someday.


  1. I haven't read this King novel, but he is a masterful story teller! I love that you had to stop reading at night so you wouldn't have nightmares.

    1. Helen, I had to do the same thing when I read It and The Shining!

  2. I have a crazy story to share with you. I read Pet Semetary decades ago and when we were in bed one night, asleep, I woke up and had to use the bathroom. I woke Doug up to take me! Ha! that's back whne he could get abck to sleep and actually I had not read any more of his work until 11/22/63 and recently Billy Summers!

    1. Tina, King has a way of creeping us out, doesn't he? I loved 11/22/63! Billy Summers is on my list and once I finish my current audiobook, I'll go back to If It Bleeds and The Outsider, both of which I paused in order to focus on nonfiction in November.

  3. King is an excellent storyteller. I typically enjoy his work. I tried to read The Cell recently, because it's one I never got to and I gave up. I think that was written during his pain med addiction. It was so disjointed.

    1. Ti, he really is an incredible storyteller. There are so many of his books that I'd love to read again. I've never tried the cell, but will probably skip it based on your comments. Thanks for the heads-up.


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