This is probably one of the most famous novels by Stephen King but for some reason I've kept avoiding reading it. I really dislike reading books where violence towards animals takes place and I'd felt that this might be the case here. And while there was some, it wasn't bad enough to put me off it.
Thee novel starts in a way that is all too typical for modern horror movies. A family moves into an old house on the outskirts of a town. It's a fresh start for Louis Creed, his wife, their two young children (Ellie and Gage), and a cat. Their first day doesn't start too well as Ellie falls off a swing and her brother is stung by a bee. They are helped by an elderly man, Jud Crandall. He is their neighbor and he soon forms a strong fatherly-like friendship with Louis.
After a few weeks of living in a new home, Jud takes the family for a walk and shows them a place called "Pet Sementary". For Ellie, this is the first serious encounter with death. The trip also provokes a heated conversation between Louis and his wife Rachel. Later on in the book we get more insights into Rachel's childhood and learn about traumatic events that affected her then. There's another event that foreshadows events that will take place later in the novel. During his first day at new work as a chief of campus health service, Louis unsuccessfully tries to help a fatally wounded student. The young man is a victim of a terrible car accident. Just before dying, he addresses Louis personally, as if he's known him before. During the night, the protagonist is visited by a ghost of deceased student, who warns him about the Sementary. Life goes on, and as time passes, Luis stops thinking about the event. The events that will follow will profoundly shake his philosophy of life, death, and faith.
The story is not too complicated but I didn't perceive it as the main strength of the novel. What I found really interesting were numerous dialogs and some in-depth considerations on life and death. King approaches these subjects from different viewpoints, both that of a child and that of an adult. The combination of these two offers some interesting reflections. In a way, this book reminded me of King's latest work ("Revival") as both novels explore the theme of life after death. Here King approaches the subject in a less scientific way, treating it more like a great unknown, not a phenomenon we could understand using scientific principles.