Did you notice how Hannah mentioned in her review of Ripley that she was waiting for me to catch up? Let me just enlighten you people to the fact that Hannah read and reviewed that book during the four days it took for my library to track down a copy and get it over to me. So yes, I do need to catch up, but little miss thang over there also needs to slow her roll.
I have spoken.
Anyway, I wasn’t just twiddling my thumbs while she sped through the real assignment. I got Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects on sale and read it in four days , too. This book was… surprising! I don’t generally find myself reading books by female authors; I can’t tolerate “fluff” in a novel. I don’t want an overly dramatic unrequited love story; I don’t want a torrid affair that’s trying way too hard to be “juicy;” and I don’t want a mild-mannered “whodunit” where the dog solves the crime. That, I don’t like. That, I usually find in a female-written novel. Therefore, I think Flynn deserves 5 stars for simply putting me in my place by showing me that my generalization is dead wrong (in her case). Sharp Objects was effectively disturbing. Not in a Steven King, “let me describe my character eating her own baby” way, but in a way that made me really thankful for my own life when I put the book down for a bit.
Camille Preaker is a reporter from Chicago who is assigned to a murder investigation in her home town, Wind Gap, Missouri. Her hesitation to return to Wind Gap is evident immediately, but her reasoning is hidden until she arrives “home” to her stepfather Alan (best described as “ignorantly vanilla”), her half-sister, Amma (a beautiful, popular, fiercely mean thirteen-year-old), and her wicked mother, Adora (who gives my running list of “least favorite book characters” a serious run for their money). Adora is repulsive. She practically owns the small town and all the residents, manipulates everyone with spiteful control veiled in beauty and pity. Adora’s middle child, Marian, died as a child and Adora still soaks up the pity like a sponge, nearly 30 years later. Adora hates Camille, plain and simple. Amid all this family drama, two female children have been found strangled, recently, with all their teeth removed, and the small town police are ill-prepared for such an investigation. Camille has to use her investigative abilities to find anything to report, but she unfortunately unearths a great deal more than she anticipated and finds herself strongly connected to the outcome.
Flynn’s writing style was so relatable and descriptive that I found myself feeling the frustration and animosity of Camille towards her mother. It’s hard to imagine that a mother could be so disconnnected from her child that she’s able to say such hurtful things without the slightest remorse. I can’t imagine a mother acknowledging her hatred for her child with such casualty. Everything about their relationship made my skin crawl and made me love my mother and her constant affection all the much more (love you, K$). I will say, it took a while for this book to warm up; I’d say about 2/3 was spent blandly and then it got crazy and was so far from bland. It’s like boiling water. I swear it takes 10 minutes of slightly steaming, a couple tiny bubbles on the bottom of the pot, lots of hissing, and then BAM the water is pouring over the sides of the pot and you have a huge, hot mess. This was my response when the boyfriend asked about my progress: “It’s fine; it’s fine; it’s fine; HOLY COW things just got real!!” I think this book would be too emotionally distressing for my mom; it really did hurt my feelings quite often. But it was such a great change of pace, change of scenery, change of subject matter, change of expectations; I’m just so happy to have read something new and I look forward to reading more from Flynn.
I’m going to go pick up Riply from the library and I’ll try to motor through it while Hannah finishes whatever she’s reading now (I bet she just finished while I was typing that). After that, we’ll move on to To Kill a Mockingbird which Hannah has never read and I cannot WAIT to read again because it’s so amazing!
As always, let us know what you think and keep reading along!