This completes my reading of all three of Gillian Flynn’s novels.
When I was done reading Sharp Objects, I was left feeling almost exactly the same as I felt when I finished Flynn’s other stories; that there is something very, very unhealthy about this book. Her characters, these stories, they’re just so…wrong, in the best way possible. They’re complex, real, and majorly f’ed up to the point where I wasn’t even sure I liked them…but I couldn’t stop reading. It was kind of like seeing an accident; you don’t want to look, but you can’t turn away.
This story’s main character, Camille, has a complex and disturbing background and an even more complex family. This book has a grizzly plot line where Camille travels back to her hometown to report on a string of murders of young girls. There are emotional demons to wrestle. There are skeletons in the closet brought to light, and there is an ending that is so mean and nasty that I felt a little unclean when it was all said and done. In other words, this book has everything a dark, psychological thriller should.
I also found it interesting how well Flynn writes terrible women. Again, she has turned the stereotypes on their heads. In this novel, women are the bad guys, the villains, the perpetrators. Men are the bystanders, and at most their pawns. It certainly makes for an interesting and emotionally challenging read.
I’m sure this book will displease a lot of readers. But the point of a psychological thriller isn’t to make the reader comfortable. While reading this one you’ll want to squirm, and you’ll cringe a little. You’ll thank your lucky stars your life isn’t as messed up as Camille’s.
And, if you’re like me, you’ll also feel a little uncomfortable knowing that you liked reading it.
Title: Sharp Objects Author: Gillian Flynn
Pages: 254 (in paperback)
Read: mostly at home, in bed.
First Line: “My sweater was new, stinging red and ugly.”