Book Review: Sharp Objects

SHARP OBJECTS | Gillian Flynn
09.26.2006 | Broadway Paperbacks
Rating: 4/5 stars

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Camille Preaker calls a tiny dot on the map named Wind Gap her hometown. Over the years she has distanced herself as much as possible from this town and the dark memories of her childhood there. Fresh from a recent stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille must make a personal sacrifice for the sake of her journalistic career. She must head back to the town that sent her to the psychiatric hospital.

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Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed.

Wind Gap is known best for it’s population of wealthy families and dirt poor families. At the heart of the town is a slaughterhouse, owned by Camille Preaker’s mother, Adora. Living the high life in their Victorian mansion, the Preaker family is made up of Camille’s hypochondriac mother, her thirteen-year-old half-sister who runs the town’s younger crowd, and her quiet, reserved step-father. Camille’s family, much like all the other wealthy families in town, want to sweep the recent murders of two preteen girls deep under the carpet, along with all of their other secrets. Camille must work through her personal issues and put together the pieces of these troubling deaths in order to find out who killed these girls. Will Camille find out who the killer is or will Wind Gap consume her mind once more before she has the chance?

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Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you’re really doing it to them.

Gillian Flynn is no stranger to penning a gripping thriller and SHARP OBJECTS is an excellent example of her abilities. Camille Preaker is a narrator with a haunting childhood, a family that defines the word dysfunctional, and a litany of bad decisions to keep her going for years. SHARP OBJECTS is a trip into each of these aspects of Camille’s life in order to get to the bottom of who is killing girls in her hometown. Throughout the book, the reader is exposed to various characters living in Wind Gap, some who want to help Camille and others that would rather spread enough venomous gossip to send Camille packing her bags and heading back to Chicago. Ultimately, at the heart of the book, is Camille’s family and the relationship she has with her mother. A traumatic childhood filled with the loss of a sister who battled sickness for years and the destruction that loss caused physically for Camille are recurring themes that tug on heartstrings, while raising red flags about Camille’s present situation. SHARP OBJECTS is creepy, unsettling, and a downright intoxicating read that will have you saying “did that really just happen” until you hit the last page.

Note: I read this book back in 2014 and this time around I listened to it on audiobook in order to squeeze in a refresher before the HBO series launches. For those looking for a great narrator, I highly recommend giving SHARP OBJECTS a listen!

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