The first half or so of this section features Frank. What a joy. Frank’s wife and daughter have fallen asleep, and he’s pissed. He goes to the bar to drink. In the bar, there’s a sort of pseudo sermon about how women have “flown too close to the sun” and brought Aurora on humanity. Once again, I feel like this is another of the bigot stereotypes that I’ve seen in this book. I get it. Men suck, women keep men under control. I complain but honestly I don’t think this absolutely ruins the book as a whole. It’s certainly a flaw, and it’s something that I think is a weaker point in the book, but I still think that the plot is interesting enough to overlook that. I think one thing that I’ve heard about Stephen King that I have to agree with is that he may not be a masterful writer, but he’s an amazing storyteller. I tend to give more awkward parts of his books a pass because the ideas and stories themselves are so compelling, and this is no exception. Still, the whole sermon is ridiculous to the point of hilarity. And really, that’s what I go to King villains for. Sometimes I wonder who’s ideas are showing more in certain parts of the book, and I just…really want to know who wrote those lines of dialogue.
Anyway, Frank runs into Don Peters and they formulate a plan to take over the sheriff’s office after Lila Norcross falls asleep. They need to figure out what to do about Evie, since she’s able to fall asleep and wake up normally. They want to get her released so that they can see if she knows how to stop the disease. It’s a long shot, but really, what are men to do without women keeping them on their best behavior?
Speaking of men not being on their best behavior, Lila comes home to confront Clint about a mysterious teenager that she’s heard of. A teenager by the name of Sheila Norcross. When she (through illegal means) found Sheila’s enrollment papers in her high school, it lists her father as Clint Norcross. She confronts Clint to find out that…he’s actually not the father. Through a pretty complicated series of events, a childhood friend of Clint’s had decided to put his name as the father after getting pregnant by a man that looks like him. I can’t help but feel like this whole plot thread is kind of out of place. There have been hints since the first chapter that Clint hasn’t been faithful to his wife. I’m pretty sure I even mentioned it in a previous post. All of this buildup for really not much of a climax. What was the point of going on about Clint’s secrets if it would all amount to basically nothing? It’s a really weird way to transition into Evie eventually telling him that he is going to be the man that stands for all men. Why? Because he didn’t cheat on his wife? Is that the bar that men need to clear? I don’t know. I just hope that things start making a little bit more sense soon.