Hello, people of the internet!
Well, I decided to somewhat make April ‘Read Gillian Flynn novels’ month, since I already finished Gone Girl this month and have now finished this book. This is Gillian Flynn’s first published novel, followed by Dark Places (which I will be reading next), then Gone Girl. I do enjoy Gillian Flynn’s writing and the dark stories she writes.
But after reading Gone Girl, is Sharp Objects just as good?
Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publication date: 17th September 2007
It’s been a while…but Camille Preaker has finally gone home.
Sent to investigate the disappearance of two little girls, Camille finds herself reluctantly installed in the family mansion, with her distant mother and a precocious thirteen-year-old half-sister she barely knows. Haunted by a family tragedy, troubled by the disquieting grip her young sister has on the town, Camille struggles with a familiar need to be accepted.
But as clues turn into dead ends, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims and realises: she will have to unravel the puzzle of her own past if she’s to survive this homecoming.
I will have to say this first: I wasn’t shocked by the reveal of who was behind the disappearances. I had my suspicions during the whole story (I won’t say who, I won’t spoil that for you) and was proved correct at the end. The reasons behind them, however, were twisted and incredibly dark. It was a good thriller in that sense, even if I correctly guessed the reveal. It may not be the darkest book I read (heck, I read a lot of dark novels, it’s worrying!), but it is quite gruelling. There were some sections in there where I actually gasped out loud and had to stop reading just to let the horrific details settle in!
The characters were very well-written. I understand why Camille is the way she is and I felt the emotions she was feeling. Her mother and half-sister were stand-offish and made me feel very uneasy whenever they were around. The rest of the townspeople were also either unfriendly and/or back-stabbing. Of course, some of them are grieving, but still the majority of the townspeople weren’t sympathetic. In fact, there aren’t a lot of sympathetic characters in Sharp Objects. I normally complain if there were too many unsympathetic characters (so much so that the whole book feels awful and hateful, very often to the book’s disadvantage), but with Sharp Objects, the mixture of sympathetic and unsympathetic characters is just right to create a dark atmosphere and have enough characters to connect with.
Speaking of characters, I want to talk about some in more detail. I have to say Camille is a wonderful protagonist for this story. She has a dark past and her body is covered in scars, but she is smart and continues with her reporting work regardless. She is a reporter, but she is a sympathetic reporter (I have never met a reporter I connected with in a crime thriller before – they’re often rude, invasive and some of the worst characters in crime thrillers in general). She doesn’t go overboard and disturb anyone just to write the perfect story for the newspaper she writes for. Her boss is also sympathetic. I liked his character as well as his wife’s character – they care for Camille and are the closest thing to a family she has. As for Camille’s mother and half-sister? Nope, just nope. That’s all I can say about them. They are written so well, they are some of the worst characters I have ever read! Gillian Flynn certainly knows how to write despicable characters!
I will give this book 4 stars out of 5. It is a very good debut novel for Gillian Flynn. It may not have as many twists and turns as Gone Girl, but I enjoyed Sharp Objects just as much.
Thank you for reading!