Gillian Flynn’s psychological thriller-family drama combo, Sharp Objects, tells the dark story of a troubled woman’s childhood in and present visit to the problematic Missouri hometown she thought she had successfully broken free of, and that is now the site of two murders.
Camille Preacher is an underachieving reporter in Chicago when two young girls are murdered in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri. She reluctantly accepts the beat, apprehensive to spend much time in Wind Gap and with her mother.
Flynn takes us on a dark journey through unexpected twists and turns as Camille tries to report on the murders while also navigating her own demons, as well as relationships with her cold mother, new step sister, and the lead detective on the case. Camille’s deepest secrets are revealed, which she must overcome to get to the bottom of the murders and to survive her trip back home.
If you liked the HBO series, you’ll like the book, too. Plus, it will give you a much better understanding of Camille’s past and the story’s ending.
Please take caution when reading Sharp Objects if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Self harm
- Child abuse
- Sexual assault
I’m not going to lie – Sharp Objects starts out pretty slow. You’re kept so in the dark about the murders that you feel like you don’t have enough information to maintain interest. It turns on a dime, though. In fact, I can pinpoint the exact sentence that switched the story from slow and slightly dull to lightening fast and totally insane. I give Sharp Objects a 3 because of the slow beginning, but the end does completely make up for it.
Yes, the beginning is slow, but it isn’t uninteresting. You learn about Camille’s recent past in Chicago, her childhood in Wind Gap, her family – both old – her mother and deceased sister Marian – and new – her step father, Alan, and teenage step sister, Amma.
Once the family drama and murder case start making headway, the story moves quickly and unexpectedly. You learn more about Marian’s death, the town’s violent history, and why Camille’s relationship with her mother is so strained. Camille’s relationship with Richard, the head detective on the murder case, is odd and detached, which is not surprising, given that Camille’s only real relationships in life have been with her now dead sister, her editor, and alcohol. There are frequent flashbacks and back stories, all of which are very interesting.
Sharp Objects‘ plot is fantastic and totally shocking – you don’t see any of the end coming. Descriptions of deaths, sex, and self harm are very detailed and, at times gory, but always fascinating. The story is very unique in that Camille’s personal form of self harm is the center of the story, everything and everyone revolving around it. Once you get past the slow beginning, you won’t want to put it down.
Thanks a million for taking the time to read my thoughts on Sharp Objects. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya.