Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (2006)
Since graduating college just a few short months ago, I have fully launched myself into reading any book I can get my hands on.
Most recently, that is Gillian Flynn’s 2006 debut novel “Sharp Objects.” The novel highlights the story of Camille Preaker, a Chicago reporter off a short stay in a psychological hospital, as she travels back to her hometown of Wind Gap to cover the murders of two young girls. While there trying to get the “big break” that would put her newspaper (the fourth largest in Chicago) on the map, she is forced to deal with her past, her hypochondriac mother Adora and get to know her 13-year-old half-sister Amma.
“Sharp Objects” mixes the best of mystery, psychology and journalism (oh yes, journalism). It reads like a very long news article, but in the best way possible. The sentences are crisp and clean with no fluff. At just 252 pages, the novel takes you through as multiple people close in on the ultimate question: “Who dunnit?”
But the success of this book doesn’t lie in figuring out who committed the crime (although the realization just pages from the end of the book is perfect), but with the familial connections between the Preaker family and the entire community of Wind Gap.
The entire town is connected due to it’s size. Old women gather and gossip about back when they were popular. 13-year-old Amma runs the town with three other girls, causing trouble and making sure that she gets everything that she wants.
Camille is an outsider to this world of Wind Gap, leaving her life behind many years before. A life with an overly attentive mother, a sister Marian who died from sickness and Camille’s own addiction of sorts to sex and harming herself.
All of these things Camille thought she left behind as she closes in on what really happened when she was a child, who could possibly kill two little girls in this small town and if those two things are connected.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars