Danny Torrance, who goes by Dan these days, found himself
plagued by the same demons (quite literally) that tormented his father,
eventually leading Dan to the same crutch as Jack … alcohol. Regardless of the
Jack death so early in Dan’s life, Dan finds himself too similar to Jack for
his own comfort. He grows to be a pathetic excuse for a man, a drunk with a
penchant for angry outbursts. However, the liquor dims the shine and Dan cannot
bear to see and hear what the shining wants him to know. Yet, when Dan finally
hits rock bottom it’s the shining that delivers him to a new town where he is
able to flourish as a result. It is during his first week of AA meetings that
he becomes aware of Abra. A 2 month old girl with an incredible shine, who
continues to seek Dan out mentally.
In parallel, we meet a group referred to as the True Knot. These folks appear to be psychic vampires sucking the life force from children like Abra. The True Knot is nomadic, not being able to stay in one area too long due to the missing children and the normal folk catching on to their strange ways. During the climax of the book, the True Knot has taken up residence in Sidewinder, CO. When Abra becomes endangered, Danny must decide if he can go back to the remains of the Overlook to help an innocent child.
Bridget Darcy finds herself a mother of two young children at the age of 51. And SPOILER (well, this is on the cover so maybe not a spoiler?) she is widowed. Mark Darcy died 5 years prior, leaving Bridget comfortably taken care of regarding home and money, but completely lost as a mother.
After four years of mourning the loss of Mark, her friends pull her (kicking and screaming) out of her funk, and push her into the world of dating for the first time in 15 years. As we are reminded in the novel, a lot has changed, when Bridget was last single, e-mail was rarely used. She now not only has to learn how to date again, but also how to date via Twitter, Facebook, PlentyofFish, Match.com, etc. Bridget eventually meets Roxby a young man whom she intends to date only as a boy toy (or toy boy to the Brits), he is 21 years her junior. However, Bridget - being Bridget - immediately starts obsessing over the relationship possibility with Roxster and we see the Bridget we remember from the original series.
In Doctor Sleep, we are presented with a sequel which showed exactly what I wanted to happen, without knowing what I wanted to happen. In Mad About the Boy, we are presented with a sequel in which the very thing we wanted to happen was ripped from us in the first chapter. Having followed Bridget through the depressive angst of her early dating life, don’t we deserve to see her happy with Mark Darcy? Perhaps a story of marital happiness is no story at all, but, as a fan of the series, I felt quite cheated.
I highly suggest reading The Shining before reading Doctor Sleep. Stephen King was not a fan of the Kubrick movie. I can say that after reading The Shining, I can understand why. Though the movie is fantastic, it’s a completely different creature than the book. If you’ve watched the movie and it hasn’t made sense to you, try the book or at least the Steven Weber version of The Shining.
Even though I do feel cheated by the Bridget sequel that we got I’m still glad that I read it and I will probably read it again along with the first two books. I think I read Bridget Jones at just the right time in my life, when I was young enough not to be bothered by her immaturity. And because of that perfect timing, I still enjoyed the book.