Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects is the highly anticipated limited series from HBO based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. I actually really enjoyed going back and reading Sharp Objects again. It’s a shorter novel and does go less in depth than her other smash hit Gone Girl.

I know a lot of readers will not pick up because it covers some pretty dark themes – depression, abuse and self harm. It can be unsettling, however, we don’t often see this type of woman portrayed. I think perhaps a lot of women will identify with some of Camille’s thoughts and actions. I like a story where the woman is certainly not the hero and doesn’t need a man to save her. That’s why I like Gillian Flynn so much – it’s the dark thoughts and actions that feel a more real though the narcissism can be scary. It’s refreshing to have a female protagonist that drinks, does the wrong thing and is content having casual sex.

Camille is obviously a deeply flawed and damaged character. We see her struggling with the return to her hometown and scarring high school memories. It is hard not to care for Camille despite her faults and obvious lack in judgment, though as her story unfolds it does become clearer why she is the way she is. She is fundamentally a good person… who makes really selfish and fucked up choices every now and then.  The story tended to forget about the murder mystery and was content just to follow Camille and her train of thought. Might be annoying or distracting for some readers – however, the story is not long so could be forgiven! I did like the way she portrayed Camille’s cutting. It was a clever tool to insert words to help convey thoughts, feelings, textures.

It is clear to see Sharp Objects being the foundation where Gone Girl came from. While I could have done with a little more, it wraps perfectly. The plot could be seen as a little predictable but is that because we feel like we’ve seen it all? I think even those that do read a lot of thrillers will still enjoy the twists in Sharp Objects. The ending is a little abrupt, though a different way to reveal the killer. It was never about finding out who the murderer was; more about putting Camille’s life in perspective closure.

About Sharp Objects

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Check out The Alienist by Caleb Carr – another fantastic book to tv adaptation of 2018!

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