“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.” – Gillian Flynn
Sharp Objects is Flynn’s debut novel. Like many, I was first drawn to Flynn’s writing after her third novel Gone Girl made headlines as the #1 New York Times Bestseller and later appeared on the big screen wowing audiences as one of the best thriller films of 2014.
Sharp Objects centres on a journalist, Camille Preaker, who reluctantly returns home to a small town named Wind Gap, filled with people she despised. The reason for Camille’s return relates to the disappearance of two young girls in Wind Gap, which the local police are unable to solve.
Returning home, Camille finds herself having to deal with the very reason she left home: her dysfunctional family. Trying to investigate the disappearances, Camille is faced with her controlling mother and her 13 year old half-sister. Camille soon finds that her half-sister has a hold on the city folk, many of whom were very close to the people she was sent to investigate.
As the story unfolds, Camille finds herself slowly to unravelling the mystery of what had happened to the missing little girls. As she nears solving the puzzle, she soon realises her mother and sister are not who they claim to be….
Sharp Objects felt like a typical novel. Flynn chooses to go for the final twist to give the reader the utter sense of amazement but, sadly, falls short. I feel like the book would have benefitted more from little plot twists within the story; too many times it felt like chapters were fillers that didn’t really add much to the story.
However, Flynn exposes the reader to the reality of a self-mutilator (Flynn reveals this information about Camille midway through the book so it’s not much of a spoiler). She does this quite successfully, given that at many times throughout the book, one is able to empathize with Camille.
Nevertheless, the book is nothing to rave about. I’ve read better thrillers, amongst the likes of Stephen King, Dan Brown and the renowned Stieg Larsson (I’m well aware of how snotty that sounds). Sharp Objects would however serve as a good book if you’d like to see how Flynn has improved her writing, given her successes with Dark Places (2009) and Gone Girl (2012).
Have you read this book or anything else by Gillian Flynn? Share your thoughts in the comment section below 🙂
- Dan Brown – Deception Point
- Stephen King – Carrie
- Stieg Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Praise (against my better judgement):
“To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild.” – Stephen King
“A stylish and compelling debut novel. A real winner.” – Harlan Coben
“Creepy, stylish and gripping” – Guardian