by Gillian Flynn
Nikki’s Rating: 8 out of 10
Summary: Reporter Camille Preaker goes back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Fresh out of the psychiatric hospital, Camille must face the demons of her family while trying not to relapse. As she uncovers the disturbing truth that the victims share a lot of similarities with herself, Camille realizes that these murders could involve someone in her own family.
8 Stalwart Things about Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects
(May Contain Spoilers)
As always with Gillian Flynn, she delivers compelling stories that are hard to put down and Sharp Objects is no exception. Sharp Objects is dark, disturbing, and yet intriguing with complex characters, good pacing, and shocking twists.
Characters in Sharp Objects are interesting, realistic, and intricate. Background stories provided depth and understanding of the characters’ motives, beliefs, and actions seen throughout the novel. And all the main characters were fucked up in their own ways. Really felt like a real family.
Camille is seen as a competent, perfectionist journalist who is actually uncomfortable prying and asking questions. It allows for readers to understand that many journalists may feel just as uncomfortable with asking questions as we all are in answering them. Really helped to drive home the idea that journalists aren’t there to pry or gossip but rather to do their job and report the news.
Sharp Objects touches on some of the darker aspects of humanity and how the sickness in our society can manifest in different ways. One area that this novel clearly shows is the cycle of trauma in regards to how generational trauma plays out. Camille’s grandmother was abusive and negligent to Camille’s mother, therefore Camille’s mother was abusive to her children, and now Camille and her sister have some major psychological issues that need to be treated professionally. Vicious cycle of someone being traumatized and then traumatizing another.
5. Acting Out
One thing that was briefly touched upon in Sharp Objects is that many individuals act out sexually due to experiencing trauma. While not a focal point in the novel, I appreciated that it was brought up because it is absolutely true.
Cutting is a tough subject to write and talk about and is especially difficult for non-cutters to understand. I’m unsure if Flynn ever struggled with cutting in her past or interviewed people who had but I feel like she captured the drive, need, and compulsion to cut fairly well. Flynn also did a good job of showing the stigma, blame and shame that comes with being a cutter, Richard took one look at Camille’s scars and never spoke to her again.
7. Munchausen by Proxy
Gillian Flynn also did an amazing job of portraying Munchausen by proxy in Sharp Objects. Flynn captured the difficulty for it to be recognized not just by professionals but by friends and family and even the victims. She captured the way the victims are manipulated into believing they are being helped and that they shouldn’t be difficult but rather passive, unquestioning patients. And lastly, Flynn really showed how dangerous this mental illness is, that it can cause a parent to kill their own child.
The ending to Sharp Objects was shocking! Once Camille put the pieces together and an arrest was made, there was a feeling of satisfaction and closure. But then another dead girl is found and you are like “what the fuck?!” Flynn, thank you for messing with our heads and keeping us on our toes! Look forward to reading another of your novels soon.