Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have read Gillian Flynn completely backwards! I started with Gone Girl., which was the first time I had even heard of Flynn. Gone Girl blew my mind, it was probably one of the most exciting books I had read in a long time. It took me nearly year to pick up Dark Places mind blown again, I loved it! Two months after I finished Dark Places I got my hands on Sharp Objects - I was really excited to read another exciting, dark, mind blowing book. Sharp Objects is dark, gritty and disturbing, however, I didn't blow my mind.
Camille Preaker is a mediocre reporter working the police beat for a mediocre newspaper in Chicago when her boss gives her an assignment in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri. One young girl has been murdered and another is missing. Camille is forced to reconnect with her estranged mother, step father and her half sister she barely knows as well as confront some nasty family secrets as she works to get a scoop.
Sharp Objects started out slow and I had trouble connecting initially, Camille's reintroduction to Wind Gap was really lack luster despite our introduction to her bizarre family. And they truly are bizarre. Adora is cold, calculating and extremely wealthy. Alan is one strange cat, totally dominated by Adora. Amma, the step-sister, is creepy, manipulative, sick and just plain scary.
About half-way through, it picks up speed and I couldn't put it down - I had to figure out who was the killer. I found this book to be a bit more predictable than Flynn's follow up works - not totally predictable but I had it narrowed down to a couple options, and I was right.
I liked Camille and rooted for her, despite her flaws, and there were many. Scarily, I could see bits of myself in Camille, she was searching for acceptance, love, respect and because she searched desperately for those thing she acted out in some destructive ways.
"Sometimes when you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them."
Sharp Objects explores some really dark areas Munchausen by Proxy, cutting, murder, sex, abuse and the relationships women have with one another. This is not an outright exploration of bullying but the way the women's relationships and power struggles played out was very insightful and real writing.
"They were women not strong enough or smart enough to leave. Women with out imagination. So they stayed in Wind Gap and played their teenage lives on an endless loop. And now I was stuck with them, unable to pull myself out."
Having grown up in a small town I related to her descriptions and the characters of Wind Gap as well as her insight as to the type of damage living in that environment can do.
"A town so suffocating and small, you tripped over people you hated every day. People who knew things about you. It’s the kind of place that leaves a mark."
Had I read Sharp Objects, Flynn's debut novel first it may have changed my view of it, but having read her subsequent works I have to say this one just isn't as good. It's good, a great first novel but it did not blow my mind like the other two. I recommend it if you are a Flynn fan or enjoy a dark, creepy, twisted read.
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