Pearl Review
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I was excited to read this book -- excited for Tabitha King to show me that she’s not just Stephen King’s wife, that she has a career of her own. I’ve always loved Mr. King, and I couldn’t wait to discover that the Mrs. was just as talented in her own way.

For a while, it worked. King intrigued me with her story of Pearl, a half-black woman who shows up in her all-white mother’s white-bread hometown, Nodd’s Ridge, Maine, and tries to begin a new life there. I liked Pearl -- and I wanted her to succeed. And I liked Nodd’s Ridge. And, for a while, I liked Tabitha King.

But then it all went sour. I lost a huge amount of respect for King when she first mentioned Dick Hallorann, a character from her husband’s novel, The Shining. Dick, it seems, spent his winters in Key West running Pearl’s step-dad’s diner. Had King stopped there with the “Hey -- my husband is Stephen King, the world-famous writer, remember?” references, I could have looked past it. But she didn’t.

Not only that, but after a while, I realized that I no longer liked Pearl -- most likely because as soon as she settles into her new home, she starts sleeping with two local men (usually in the same night). And though she keeps telling herself that she’s going to smarten up and end it with one of them, she just keeps going back for more. And, in my opinion, Pearl was no longer the strong female character that I thought she was at the beginning of the book.

King’s writing flip-flops from the intellectual to the regional and cutesy. The narrator goes from using big ten-dollar words to saying things like, “she sicked up and sicked up.” I just wanted her to make up her mind and land somewhere in the middle. But she never did.

I’m sad to say that I found this book to be disappointing. I wouldn’t recommend reading it -- though if you really want to, I can guarantee that you’ll soon be able to find a copy of Pearl at my local used bookstore.

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