Dolores Claiborne (Penguin Group)
By her own account she's an old Yankee bitch, Dolores Claiborne: foul temper, foul mouth, foul life. Folks on Little Tall Island have been waiting thirty years to find out just what happened on the eerie dark day her husband, Joe, died — the day of the total eclipse. The police want to know what happened yesterday, when rich, bedridden Vera Donovan, the island's grande dame sans merci and Dolores's longtime employer, died suddenly in her care. With no choice but to talk, Dolores Claiborne talks up a storm. Everything I did, I did for love, she says, and this spellbinding novel is at once her confession and her defense. Given a voice as compelling as any in contemporary fiction, her story centers on a disintegrating marriage's molten core, where the mind's unblinking eye becomes huge with hate and a woman's heart turns murderous. It unfolds the strange intimacy between Dolores and Vera, and the link that binds them. It shows, finally, how fierce love can be, and how dreadful its consequences. And how the soul, harrowed by the hardest life, can achieve a kind of grace.
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