Depicted above: the Hodder & Stoughton edition of the novel's hardback. Ain't it a beaut? I probably still prefer the American edition from Viking, but our British cousins did well with this one, and if I can find a reasonably inexpensive used copy, I'mma have me one.
That acquisitorial note made, let's now crack on with part two of our Dolores Claiborne revisit.
Today, I want to look at the novel's two most prominent supporting players, Joe St. George and Vera Donovan, beginning with the latter. (We already talked about here some here, but there's plenty more left to be said.)
Dolores's relationship with Vera is probably the most important of the novel, and it's one of the most compelling relationships in all of King's work. It's difficult to put a label on exactly what kind of relationship it is. It's not romantic or sexual (a thing which is likely not in doubt, but may nevertheless need to be stated); it's an employer/employee relationship, but one which morphs into caregiver/patient; it can't quite be considered a friendship, except in the numerous ways which it behaves as one. What are these two women to each other?
We don't quite know, and since Dolores is the narrator, this can mean only that she herself doesn't know. And since she isn't exactly the kind of person who is prone to waste a great deal of mental energy figuring such things out, it remains somewhat ill-defined throughout.
As such, I think it manages to be incredibly compelling. It is infuriating at times, it is thrilling at other times, it is moving at still others.
This is life, isn't it?