22 June 2009

42. Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

A young reporter, Camille Preaker, works at a small Chicago paper and is assigned to write about the nasty murders of two children in her home town. A small town in Missouri. There is a strange cluster of people living in this town. Throw in a few neurotic people and numerous psychiatric problems...and you get this book.

Camille is a reformed cutter. She cut words into her skin. The words formed scars in her flesh. The words heat up when events make her feel whatever way the word describes. She can "feel" the words. Oh, and she is an alcoholic. And a slut. And has a problem with authority. And has deep seeded feelings about her mother. And has big problems with her childhood "friends" in her home town of Wind Gap. In other words, Camille is a mess.

The murders of the two young girls are definitely not the ugliest part of this book. The Preaker family is far nastier. The dead sister, died almost 20 years prior, is probably the luckiest one. The 13 year old sister who still lives in Wind Gap is nuts. About as nuts as Camille, but at a far younger age.

I liked the book. It was a fascinating to read the thought process of the woman as she wrestles with her past, and recovery, and a trying to do her job. I found it interesting how she fell right back into old habits with her mother rather than just telling her to bite the big one. I also found it interesting that the little sister was able to exert control over the close to 30 year old Camille. Little Amma, by no means an innocent, was able to talk her adult sister into going for a ride with her friends in the drug dealers Camaro, heading to a party full of teens, taking Extasy during a disgusting version of "spin the bottle", and generally doing all kinds of stupid stuff. Was Camille acting like an adult? Heck no. She was so weak as a person she couldn't even tell a 13 year old no.

I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed the plot. I enjoyed the relationships. I enjoyed the characters and all their problems. I did think the end, the solution to the crime, was rushed. Build, build, build and...wham...that was it. I don't want to say she should have drug it out, but it seemed like it was written to just tie up the loose ends and get the book to the publisher. The end did not flow like the rest of the book. other than that, it was pretty enjoyable. Well, as enjoyable as reading about peoples multiple psychological problems can be.

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