Couldn’t put it down

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I was told I would love this book. Sometimes I get nervous when told such things, but I had this on good authority, from a smart librarian who has a sense of my reading tastes.

The woman was right.

I also now understand why she’s chosen it for a book discussion. Because it’s filled with moments that make you want to get another person’s reaction.

Here’s what: The narrator, Camille, is flawed. And as you read on, the flaws continue to accumulate. And the story just gets grimmer and grimmer. Now that’s fascinating.

Camille is a reporter who is sent back to her Missouri hometown, where young girls are getting murdered.

And we learn why Camille’s been away for years upon years: Her family is messed up like you wouldn’t even believe. And she’s living with her freaky family as she investigates the story.

And the whole thing is vaguely Southern gothic, even though it’s only as far south as Missouri (and that’s next door to Iowa, so really—we’re not talking Spanish moss-infused scenery here, but it’s got a northern Southern feel to it). It’s also got that returning-to-your-tiny-hometown stuff going on.

This thing’s a thriller in all the best ways. It’s unsettling and kinda disturbing but not in the way that makes you startled at your own shadow. (I always appreciate writers who can balance that fine line. For me, anyway, it’s a fine line. I’m skittish.)

A darn smart book that keeps you guessing.

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