I enjoyed Sharp Objects so much, starting it on Sunday, a freezing cold afternoon fit only for nesting and finishing it just before bed the following day. It’s what one would term ‘unputdownable’ if there were such a word. (Is there such a word?)
The thing about Gillian Flynn in my eyes is that she’s good. She’s really good. There’s no denying that the woman knows how to spin a dark and atmospheric yarn with the best of them.
Her characters are so well padded that they appear before you as if they were actually living and breathing; and however you feel about them, I’m thinking about Nick and Amy Dunne now in Gone Girl, they feel real.
*GONE GIRL SPOILER AHEAD*
After I read the aforementioned GG, I was told (or read somewhere) that it wasn’t Flynn’s best book. Hard to qualify this I know, given that these things are subjective but I admit that I was curious. It feels like I talk about that book a lot, of how I had loved it a lot, couldn’t stop reading it until it ended and left me enraged.
I ranted to every person I knew had read it about how it didn’t make sense and how it would never ever happen.
One colleague liked it and explained why in her own words, which made me examine it from another angle. I suppose, as with the Fifty Shades Trilogy, sometimes you have to accept that just because you wouldn’t live a certain way within a relationship, doesn’t mean other people don’t.
Some people make extraordinary things work and sometimes dysfunctional is functional, to them. (See also the film Secretary).
I digress but what I want to make clear here is that I would, and most likely will, read everything that Flynn writes from now on because I enjoy the way she writes. And you know what? I read Dark Places not long after Gone Girl and I did think it was better.
I think Sharp Objects is even better than that.
Camille Preaker is a reporter in Chicago. Not exactly setting the world alight with her journalistic prowess, even she’s not convinced she’s any good. But when a second murder is committed, in her own hometown, she has little choice but to stage her own homecoming. Is there a serial killer terrorising the small Missouri town? And will Camille be the one to break the story before larger and better newspapers get wind of the story?
Did I mention that I loved this tale? It’s very Gothic in its telling, based around the pristine home of Camille’s mother, Adora, the most revered woman in town, and the town itself, Wind Gap. Adora is a woman mourning the death of her daughter, Marian, who died when Camille was young. She now has another daughter, precocious, gorgeous Amma. Camille doesn’t know her half-sister at all, and sees her return to Wind Gap, albeit a reluctant one, as her opportunity to get to know her a bit.
I liked Camille a great deal. I get that she’s probably not supposed to be that likeable, given her past and issues, but I did. She’s been damaged in so many ways, not least by the cold and usual way in which she has been brought up by Adora. Adora has a unique mothering style, now devoted entirely to 13-year-old Amma, who plays a good game.
Part angel, part witch, Camille herself becomes fascinated with her little sister, watching her run rings around the townsfolk. What is this strange hold she has? More importantly though, is the matter of why she is back in the first place: who kidnapped and killed two girls, a year apart? And, why?
As the town becomes overshadowed by the rapidly spreading unease, Camille starts to build a story for each of the dead girls, stitching together witness accounts of their characters with a bit of urban legend mixed in. Were they chosen or was it random?
I’ll leave it here. All I can say is, if you enjoy a thriller that has you panting for the ending, while lamenting the fact that you’ll soon have to move on, then this is a good bet.
- Sharp Objects
- Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (17 Sept. 2007)
- ISBN-10: 0753822210
- ISBN-13: 978-0753822210
- Bought paperback (new)