King’s novel about a wife coming to terms with the death of her husband as well as what to do with his belongings isn’t a horror novel in the usual sense, and quite frankly, if it wasn’t for one scene I doubt that it would be classified as a horror novel.
King can write women, and he does not describe women by the size of their breasts.
The most real sequence of the book includes Lisey’s various relationships with those in her life – her sisters and husband. Her husband’s death is only a small part of the challenges that she faces, for her sisters have their problems as well. Then Linsey gets what could be a message from her decreased husband, whose past was a bit unusual. And then there is the matter of the stalker.
The novel works because the characters are so believable. You root for Lise’s because she is someone that you could know.
One does wonder if there are shades of King’s own marriage in the novel for Lisey and Scoot might not have a the traditional trope of a perfect marriage but it was a good strong marriage. Just as her relationships with her sisters are not perfect but good and strong. The relationships are at the heart of the novel, and while there is some King violence, it is not the most King violence.
I have read enough King to understand the Castle Rock references and connection, but not enough to know how it ties into the larger picture. But the sense of a small town where people watch out for each other and take care of each other.
The idea of grief and moving one is also a center theme to the story, and in many ways is the soul of the novel. The supernatural aspect to the story makes it fantasy but the real human lives