Have you heard of Tabitha King? You might know she’s the wife of Stephen King, but do you know she’s also an author? No?
I won’t hold that against you, I found out by accident myself. I mean, I always knew she was a writer, I’d read in one of the biographies about her husband how the two met at college, and how ‘Tabby’ was a poet. And apparently ‘damn cute’, according to Stephen. But, as usual, I digress.
I discovered the first novel of hers I read by accident, but I hunted down the others with intent. I only came across it because someone stuck it on the shelf next to the Stephen King paperbacks, and I always check there. Just in case, you know, a book release might have snuck past me.
That first Tabitha King novel was The Book of Reuben and it was a revelation to me. From the first page I was falling into a parallel world, a black hole, a trance, whatever you like to call it when a story simply takes you away. Tabitha King writes engaging, lyrical prose with never a wasted word and she tells a great story. I haven’t read all of her books yet (I can be a bit of a squirrel; I like to know there’s some still waiting for me) but I have read a few, enough to know Reuben was no fluke.
Tabitha King doesn’t have a huge body of work. I wonder if it’s because she’s been busy with raising a family and being an author’s wife. I believe Lisey’s Story isn’t about Tabitha and Stephen King in the strictest sense, but it surely isn’t totally unconnected. Perhaps Tabitha King is just a writer who lays down words over a more leisurely turn of the seasons than other, more famous authors.
Has Tabitha lived in the shadow of the King? Maybe. If so, her talent is shade-loving, and has produced exquisite blooms.