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Bag of Bones is a 1998 horror novel by Stephen King. As is common in King's works, the protagonist is a writer; in this case one who is experiencing severe writer's block.

Brief Synopsis[]

Mike Noonan is a writer suffering from severe writer’s block. His wife, Jo, has just died. Mike begins to have nightmares of his summer house, Sara Laughs, and decides to go there to confront his fear in the hope that it will help with his writer's block. Mike begins to help Mattie Devore and her daughter, Kyra, win a custody suit that would send Kyra to her grandfather, Max Devore. Mike and Mattie begin to experience hauntings in their homes. The ghost of Jo is trying to help Mike solve the mystery of the death of Sara Tidwell. Mattie is killed in a drive-by shooting and Mike, under the influence of Sara Tidwell, attempts to kill Kyra and commit suicide. Jo stops him and helps him uncover the truth of how people in the town who have children whose names begin with a "K" or "C" have a tendency to die by drowning. This is Sara's curse, after Max Devore's grandfather and others killed her and her son, Kito. Meanwhile, Kyra has been kidnapped by the Sara-possessed Rogette. Mike is able to protect Kyra and Rogette dies in the lake. The novel ends with the suggestion that Mike is going to be successful in his effort to adopt Kyra.

Connection to the Dark Tower Series[]

Bag of Bones features a house named Sara Laughs. This house is the Twinner of Cara Laughs, the house on Turtleback Lane that was the center of the walk-in activity. By extension, Mike Noonan is also the Twinner of Stephen King, both being writers who own a summer house name Sara/Cara Laughs.

The number 19 is used various times.

The theme of roses is mentioned multiple times in reference to Mike's deceased wife Jo (her blouse covered in roses, the roses she grows at Sara Laughs, Mike describes her body as being smooth as rose petals, etc). He calls Jo 'his world' which fits with the theme of the rose in the Dark Tower, and to unlock the worlds, Roland needs the key.

Mattie's child is named Kyra and she is called Ki or "key" throughout the story. Mike wants to name his unborn child with Jo "Kia". The child who is murdered is called Kito.

When Mike files to become the guardian for Kyra, it gives him a future vision for his aimless life. Caring for Kia / the "key" gives him purpose and he finds a new 'world' to pursue.

In the Dark Tower, Mia acts as a proxy between Roland and Suzanna to produce the child Mordred. She is the dark side of the "key".

Alternatively, the name Mia or Maya is ancient and appears in many languages. In Eastern European languages, Mia or Maya means "mother". In Arabic it can mean Princess or water, and water/drowning plays a central role throughout Bag of Bones. In Hinduism, the concept of Mia/Maya refers to the manifestation of God's powers on earth, as well as the dream-world, which plays a major role in Bag of Bones.

Two characters from Insomnia appear in this novel, Ralph Roberts - who is the main character in Insomnia, and the pharmacist Joe Wyzer. Insomnia has many connections to the Dark Tower series so by extension Bag of Bones does as well.