Sharp Objects is Gillian Flynn’s first novel (the second one I’ve read. Gone Girl being the first), about a thirty something year old woman assigned to a murder case in her hometown. The synopsis didn’t interest me all that much, but after enjoying Gone Girl so much I had to see if her talent was blip or trend.
Camille Preaker is one of the more self loathing characters I’ve ever read. As someone who bathes in self loathing daily, I loved every second of it. The book is all in first person, so you get your fill of Camille. She’s sent to Wind Gap, her hometown, to report on the recent murder of a child. Her boss suspects it may be related to a killing one year prior. Camille is hesitant. She has some bad memories of Wind Gap. Mostly regarding her distant mother, the gossipy teenagers, and memories of her hurting herself (in multiple ways), among other things. The murders are secondary to Camille’s battle to stay sane. Nobody’s past is perfect and hers farther than most.
Flynn is known for her dark themes. There were no shortages of disturbing scenes and images in this book. Whether it was the murdered children, cutting ones self, the verbal assault on young adults, or just the depressing aura of the town, this book left me in a somber place. By no means is that a bad thing. I want to feel something when I finish a novel. If that something is a depressing, lump in my stomach feeling, then so be it. That’s when I know I’ve had a good read.
The book ends with an even better twist than Gone Girl. Hopefully Flynn can keep up with these endings (although it’s probably impossible). Heaven knows I’ve read my fair share of books that disappoint when they try to wrap up the story. Not only does this author deliver, but she shocks and surprises, in the best of ways. Here’s to hoping her next book takes me to even darker places.