Monday, June 25, 2012

#BookReview: Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

To say Camille Preaker has mommy issues would be putting it mildly.  As a matter of fact, it would be the understatement of the year.  Problems with her mother have kept Camille away from her small Missouri town for 12 years. But when her job at a Chicago newspaper calls for her to return Wind Gap, Camille is forced to confront her demons head on.

Two young girls have gone missing and turned up dead in the small town of Wind Gap, Mo., a city of 2,000 where hog butchering is the biggest industry.  Growing up as the daughter of the richest family in town, Camille was the original mean girl.  So imagine, if you will, coming home to your crazy mama, your creepy stepfather and your neurotic 13 year old sister that you don't really know; and then add uncomfortable interactions with all of the girls you looked down on when you were growing up.

Camille's mother may be the richest woman in town, but she's also bat shit crazy.  I'm talking Flowers in the Attic grandmother kind of crazy.  It's the kind of crazy that killed Camille's sister, Marian, as a kid and is threatening to take out her Jekyll/Hyde sister, Amma, now. And why does her stepfather sit idly by and watch the craziness happen?

Gillian Flynn gives so much attention to Camille's personal problems, that it's easy to forget that she came home to write a story, not deal with her personal issues.  But as you read, you'll come to understand that her personal issues are as much a part of the story she's writing as the murders of the two little girls.  As I've come to learn with her writing, Flynn has a way of drawing readers in, getting them deeply invested in her characters and then turning you against them when you least expect it.  At times I loved Camille, others I hated Camille.  The same goes for Amma.  With Sharp Objects, Flynn takes readers on a roller coaster ride that doesn't stop until the very last page.

Published: September 2006

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