Hearts in Atlantis

Stephen King’s Hearts In Atlantis is a collection of connected stories that charts the lives of its characters from the idyllic 1950s through the turbulent sixties, into the Vietnam War and its tragic aftermath. There is a violent inciting act that haunts many of them from childhood and dictates action into adulthood. Since it is Stephen King, there are some elements of the supernatural, but ultimately and above all else these stories construct a mosaic of individuals that struggle to forget and just learn to live with all their decisions and mistakes. These characters’ struggle acts as a mirror, too, for America’s seismic social shift through these decades and events. Each distinct story is excellent and comes together with perfect humor and heartache as a whole, but I feel a special mention of the story “Blind Willie” is in order as I found it to be such an original and devastating portrait of one man’s consuming guilt.

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