Be careful, it cuts deep {Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn}


Be careful, it cuts deep

About Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: 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.

My two cents

You all know how much I love Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I was able to borrow a copy off a fellow-Flynn fan and I dove into this amazing debut novel. I couldn’t help but race through it because I found it a compelling and provocative yet highly disturbing read.

This is a chilling tale about reporter, Camille Preaker, who is assigned to report on a series of child murders in - of all places - her hometown. In the course of investigating for her story, she must dig deep and reconnect with family, friends, neighbours, and people of her past. The truth leads her to a disturbing conclusion.

Here’s why I liked it:

It hits you viscerally. This is another brilliant psychological study by Flynn and Camille as the heroine of the story comes with some very serious baggage. There a full sections that made me seriously queasy at times ... but that just goes to show how seriously damaged Camille is. It is hard to read about some of the things that Camille inflicts on herself, physically and mentally. It made me feel scared to discover her scary skeletons in her closet. And yet, surprisingly, instead of being turned off, I felt for her.

This is about the dark side of family. Everyone admits how messed up families can be, but usually we say this with some fondness. Camille’s dysfunctional family takes this to the extreme. As the story unravels, Camille’s childhood is revealed to be a disturbingly unhealthy relationship with her very cold, proper mother, an oddity of a stepfather, and a teenage half sister. Her hometown also has a strange eeriness which is hard to shake off. Camille hadn’t escaped unscathed, and as she finds herself thrust into her old life, she is thrust into this unhealthiness once again. While she copes in new ways, she also finds herself sliding into her old ways. Moreover, she finds herself commiserating with the plight of her half-sister and she feels an obligation to help her in some way.

It’s an actual mystery. I love me my whodunits and Agatha Christie. Camille follows the tradition of mystery solving. While I think I had figured it out, I was often led astray. The best part: I was horrified by the ending.

Be warned: this is deeply disturbing on many fronts.The story is disturbing; the topics of abuse, self-harm, sex, and murder are disturbing; the characters are messed up in every way; and the general feeling I had throughout the book was of creepiness. There is something uncannily scary about reading this book - Flynn doesn’t shy away from the gory and graphic details, or the unhealthy, messed up thoughts of the characters. The result: a read that left me mentally exhausted and frankly, wanting to shake off this darkness. Honestly, it is a hard read to shake off.

Verdict

I highly recommend this to fans of Gillian Flynn and those who love dark twisted psychological tales, dark mysteries, and provocative reading. Stay away if you cannot handle disturbing details of abuse or self-harm.

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall