17 July 2010
I'll be honest. I enjoy being freaked out by a book. I enjoy reading about dark and disturbing topics that make you want to make sure you're reading with your back to the wall so nothing can creep up on you.
Here's the deal with this book. It is dark, disturbing, twisted, manic. These words continued to swirl in my head as I read about Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects. Words are important to Camille because she's lived the larger part of her life by carving, cutting, and slicing words all over her skin.
There is no question about it. I could not have been more caught up in the disturbing novels of Gillian Flynn, both Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I really can't tell you which one was my favorite, but I'm thinking it's neck and neck, with Sharp Objects coming out as the winner by just a hair. And it's simply just because when I first picked it up, I had no idea that the disturbing and dark story would be one I would get so swept up in.
While traveling for business, on a whim I picked Sharp Objects while waiting for my flight. I don't even know how to explain the premise without re-freaking myself out. But, allow me to valiantly try.
Camille Preaker is a woman in her thirties, and a journalist at a small newspaper in Chicago who is sent to research and write about a horrible crime of two children murdered in her hometown. It's a hometown that for Camille, has such terrible and dark memories, that she is repulsed and afraid of taking the assignment. Why would she want to visit the old Victorian home that her compulsively neurotic mother lives in, and which her gorgeous teenage half-sister that she barely knows seems to run? The home is the reason why Camille's turned into a vegetarian, which is fairly expected since it's situated on her family's pig farm, and the sounds of slaughter don't really sit well with Camille. Camille's already experienced enough with her sister's death when she was young, and has been compelled since then to destroy her body by razor-writing insults like whore and nasty over every inch of her body that she can cover up with clothing. Not to mention, she just came out of a six month stay in a psychiatric institution. She's supposed to be in recovery but she sometimes will drag her palms over sharp edges to make them bleed. Going back to Wind Gap, Missouri, the source of her traumas to investigate the murders of children just isn't a good idea.
Dark. Disturbed. Twisted. Manic. These are the words always swirling through my head as I read. I was held hostage by this book, and for two days during my business travel, I attended all meetings anxiously, waiting for when I could run back up to my hotel room after dinner and dive into the pages. Gillian Flynn's writing left me with an uncomfortable feeling that I (secretly) thoroughly enjoyed as I turned the pages and pulled more of Camille's life into my mind. And what I thought would be the ending really wasn't. Suffice it to say, when the mystery of the murdered children is truly solved, I was stunned and couldn't sleep. I thought about this story for days and still can't quite put it out of my head. I absolutely recommend this novel!