18 February 2012

21. Dark Places

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

Back in 2009 I read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. I liked it. I said I would read more of her writing. I am glad I finally did. Ms. Flynn's writing has made her one of my favorite female authors.

He stories are not happy. They have a very dark side to them. They are full of dysfunctional families and females with violent streaks. Her website says one reason she writes these novels is because:

"I think women like to read about murderous mothers and lost little girls because it’s our only mainstream outlet to even begin discussing female violence on a personal level. Female violence is a specific brand of ferocity. It’s invasive. A girlfight is all teeth and hair, spit and nails — a much more fearsome thing to watch than two dudes clobbering each other. And the mental violence is positively gory. Women entwine. Some of the most disturbing, sick relationships I’ve witnessed are between long-time friends, and especially mothers and daughters. Innuendo, backspin, false encouragement, punishing withdrawal, sexual jealousy, garden-variety jealousy — watching women go to work on each other is a horrific bit of pageantry that can stretch on for years."

This book is full of all that. The book bounces back and forth between present day investigation and past events that took place 24 years ago (1985). A family was devastated by the murder of a mother and two sisters by their teenage brother. A surviving sister testified against him. She was seven at the time. All these years later she is finding out that maybe what she said was not true and her brother was wrongfully convicted. Unraveling the events of that time and the repercussion it had on the lives of many people is an outstanding tale.

Sharp Objects was good. Dark Places was even better. I will read anything Flynn writes.

"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ."

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