Book Review: Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

Goodreads Synopsis:

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—a bit too strongly. 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.


Delightful and disturbing – those are the best two words that I can think of to describe this novel. A first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I don’t like reading books where the main character struggles with life and the whole plot is just the daily drama we all go through.  I can relate to that but why on earth would I want to read about it? If I were interested in those sorts of stories I would have been a therapist. ‘Sharp Objects’ had that sort of feel about it when it starts; I thought it was going to be one of those books. But it wasn’t!

You quickly head down a dark path into a small town where things just aren’t right. I’m not sure if Flynn is from a small town but she sure can portray the mentality, right down to the ingrained pecking orders, power dynamics and the desire to blame an ‘outsider’ for crimes clearly committed by someone in the community. Flynn also does an excellent job of creating the main character Camille. She’s completely messed up but you can’t help but like her. Somehow, Flynn lets you see inside her head by slowly revealing a deeper and dark psychosis all the while keeping her relatable. Instead of judging her you find yourself understanding why she is the way she is. Flynn offers a unique perspective on dark deeds by portraying them as human faults – not just pure acts of evil.

The story is very well written. Near the end you knew where the mystery was going to go but you still wanted to hear it for yourself.