1993 1st edition "First published in 1993 by Viking Penguin" stated; Viking Penguin publishers, New York; hardbound in black boards with "SK" initials in red foil lettering on cover and red foil lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
Dolores Claiborne is a 1992 psychological thriller novel by Stephen King. The novel is narrated by the title character. Atypically for a King novel, it has no chapters, double-spacing between paragraphs, or other section breaks; thus the text is a single continuous narrative which reads like the transcription of a spoken monologue.
Dolores Claiborne, an opinionated 65-year-old widow living on the tiny Maine community of Little Tall Island, is suspected of murdering her wealthy, elderly employer, Vera Donovan. The novel is presented as a transcript of her statement, told to the local constable and a stenographer. Dolores wants to make clear to the police that she did not kill Vera, whom she has looked after for years, but does confess to orchestrating the death of her husband, Joe St. George, almost 30 years before. Dolores's confession develops into the story of her life, her troubled marriage, and her relationship with her employer.
She begins by describing her relationship with her employer, which began when Vera and her millionaire husband purchased a summer home on Little Tall Island in 1949 and hired Dolores as a maid. Able to cope with Vera's brutally exacting standards, Dolores rises from maid to housekeeper at the Donovan home. After her husband's death in a car crash in the late 50s, Vera spends increasing time at her island house, eventually moving in permanently. After Vera suffers a series of strokes in the 1980s, Dolores becomes Vera's live-in caretaker and reluctant companion as the wealthy woman slips into dementia, combatting Vera's mind games and power plays when she is lucid and comforting her from terrifying hallucinations of a force she calls "the dust bunnies" when she is not.
Dolores further reveals that at the time she began working for Vera, her marriage to Joe St. George was already showing signs of distress due to Joe's drinking and his penchant for verbal and physical abuse. Their issues come to a head one night in 1960 when Joe viciously hits Dolores in the small of her back with a piece of stove wood over a perceived slight. In retaliation, Dolores smashes a ceramic cream pot over his head and threatens him with a hatchet, swearing she will kill him if he ever strikes her again. This confrontation is witnessed by their teenage daughter Selena, who does not realize her mother was acting in self-defense. Joe stops beating Dolores, though she allows him to let the island community believe he continues to do so in an effort to save face, but leads to a rift between mother and daughter.
In 1962, Dolores notices that Selena has become increasingly withdrawn, frightened and anti-social. After speculating that she has met a boy or become involved in drugs, Dolores finally confronts her daughter as they return home on the island ferry. She explains the truth of the hatchet incident, which Joe has used to gain sympathy with his daughter, and Selena unwillingly confesses that her father has molested her. A hysterical Selena nearly jumps off the side of the ferry, but Dolores prevents her and comforts her, vowing to protect her. That night, she considers murdering Joe on the spot, describing the urge to kill him as the opening of an "inside eye". Instead, she confronts him, promising to have him arrested if he ever touches Selena again...