ELEVATE YOUR READING LIST LIFE LESSONS FROM STEPHEN KING (NO REALLY)
As I’m writing this, we’re homebound. And even after things return to normal, many of us may be reluctant to rush back to our old activities. Our hesitation to participate increases the effects COVID-19 has on our microeconomy. In this case, it’s easy to lose perspective on the impact we can make in our neighborhoods, which is why we need to band together. If you’ve read this newsletter, it shouldn’t surprise you that I found a book that is sure to remind us of the power of community — “Elevation” by Stephen King. King is well known as the modern horror writer, but “Elevation” is a refreshing and light-hearted take on the fictional Castle Rock, Maine, where some of his stories take place. The tale focuses on Scott Carey, a divorced web designer who has a rocky relationship with his neighbors and spends his free time with his retired doctor. If you’re not the biggest fan of Stephen King’s odd plot twists, you can take solace knowing that this book is a much more light-hearted read than most. Sometimes a mystical or fantastical element of a plot doesn’t carry the weight it should. But in this story, its fantastical elements help to ground the larger drama. In the opening pages, Mr. Carey is losing weight, and no matter what he brings on the scale with him, it reads lower and lower every day. As the story progresses, you discover little details that would alarm
anyone in his situation. But Scott takes these small hints of his fate as reasons to make the most of his condition. As you learn more about Scott, you see facets not fully explored in most of King’s work — small town interactions and the importance of local commerce. Carey’s neighbors, Deidre McComb and Missy Donaldson, initially seem like a stuck-up, well-off couple but reveal themselves to be more than that. Through their small disputes with Scott, you find out why they’re so closed off while simultaneously fighting to keep their restaurant open despite lacking community support. As you discover more about Scott’s condition and his neighbors, you see the impact a single member of a community makes, for better or for worse. The loud opinions of the few outweigh the views of the many as his neighbors struggle to maintain their physical and mental well-being. But at the same time, Carey takes this tendency of his town to turn the tides, giving back to his neighbors and indirectly bettering his community. In turn, his neighbors help him when he needs them the most. All in all, this is a beautiful book that displays a few different sides in Stephen King’s storytelling. Additionally, he does this by focusing on the life lessons you find in genuine small towns that classic Americana literature is
based upon. These lessons include looking out for our neighbors, making the most of every day, and understanding the power one voice or action has. The best part, though, is that “Elevation” is only 124 pages! If you have any fun book recommendations, let me know the next time we talk! I’m always looking for the next story to lose myself in, and you may see a review of it in our following newsletter!
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