Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A Discussion (Contains Spoilers)

Cover of "Sharp Objects"


Flynn’s debut novel ‘Sharp Objects‘ is a page turner and although slightly sinister is a fascinating read.


Discussion Notes:


* Unlike her other two novels I recently read (Gone Girl, Dark Places) this book is told through the eyes of only one character (Camille).


* The three main women character’s in this novel are all quite disturbing.  There is Adora – the mother who intentionally makes her children sick to gain attention (Munchausen by proxy syndrome), Camille – Adora’s daughter that lost her sister at a young age and went through years of cutting words onto her body and Amma (Adora’s youngest daughter) – a precocious pre adolescent with a mean streak beyond her tender years.


* The plot twists and turns revealing more and more about the character’s until it arrives at a stunning conclusion.  I liked that Flynn led the reader to believe that Adora had committed the murder’s when in fact she actually murdered her own daughter years before.


* The relationship between Camille and her half-sister Amma was very tender at times and although Amma is a cold blooded murderer she had a vulnerable side.   She has been created by her mother (Adora), who was in turn created by her mother.  It was interesting to see that Munchausen by proxy syndrome had been passed down through the generations.


Another riveting thriller by Gillian Flynn, I can’t wait until her next novel!


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – A Discussion (contains spoilers)

Dark PlacesAfter reading Gone Girl I was curious to read other works by Gillian Flynn.  I began with Dark Places.  The story was captivating, I could hardly bear to put it down.

Discussion Notes:

* The character development was very intricate.  Once again she used the perspectives of different characters to tell the story.  Flynn also switches from past to present seamlessly.

* Although the basis of the story is a murder mystery, it delves much further into the life of an impoverished family and the twists and turns of the story set the book aside from other’s in its genre.

* It was interesting that the mystery was solved by the main character Libby Day whose whole family was murdered and not by a police officer, detective or a reporter as many other murder novels are.  Because Libby had so much invested in finding out who murdered her so did the reader.

* The ending of the book was plausible and had an interesting twist.  A theme throughout the whole story was sacrifice.  Ben sacrificed his mother and sister’s for his new family (Diondra & baby), Patty sacrificed her life for her family (paying Calvin to kill her) and of course the references to Devil worshipping.

* The story had so many layers; the Day family and how they lived, Ben not fitting in & being accused of child molestation, the crime group and Libby’s relationship with Lyle, Diondra & Trey and of course the absentee father Runner.  Flynn weaved them perfectly.

I am really enjoying reading Gillian Flynn’s work.  I think she will become one of my new favourite authors.