Yesterday Ashley and I went on a long walk in her neighborhood and I started talking to her about how much I was enjoying the book I was reading because of the style of writing. I told her it was by the same author as Gone Girl assuming she’d read it or at the very least heard of it. She told me she doesn’t read much other than educational resources. Something I, in turn, couldn’t comprehend.
When we were almost to the end of the walk Ashley’s husband Chris came up behind us, coming to an end to his run, and began walking the rest of the way to the house with us as we talked of the garden club in Ashley’s neighborhood and how Ashley didn’t want to be involved because the women seemed mean and talked behind each other’s backs. (This is a true story, not an ABC show.) “Don’t all women do that?” Chris asked us earnestly. I wanted to tell him he should probably read the book I was reading.
Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects was a well written novel that covered, in under 250 pages, everything we try to avoid in conversation. Flynn describes wealth and gossip and southern stereotypes that while bring light to the book are covering dark secrets.
Dark secrets which include murder, poisoning, self harm, drugs, and sex. That’s right, it’s all there. And it’s not written in jest or for flavor. As I was finishing the final pages and I was in that stage where I read over sentences a couple of times to make sure I’m getting it all in I was reminded of the way Flynn wrote in Gone Girl. Every little thing has a meaning in the end, so much so that I was surprised it took me so long to reach my own conclusion (or, more truthfully, to solve the mystery myself).
I’ll tell you one thing that’s for certain, I have moments where I don’t think I could appreciate my relationship with my mother (and father) any more than I already do. Then I read books like this, describing relationships between Camille and Adora, and I think – wow, I got lucky. Because stuff like this really does exist.
I also don’t believe I’ve ever considered bourbon to be a breakfast drink until reading Sharp Objects. Actually, I still don’t think it’s a breakfast drink.
I enjoy the fluidity with which Flynn writes. It’s difficult to finish a book like Sharp Objects, with how dark the context is, and admit that I enjoyed it. But I didn’t even have to step back and look at the piece of fiction as a whole and decide it was a good work. I knew that while reading.
“I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence.”
It felt, at many times, that reading this book was like running a race, a marthon. I kept trying to get ahead of where the story was going. To solve it before it spelled it out for me. I think Flynn was well aware of a reader’s propensity for doing that and stayed one step ahead the whole time, just as she did in Gone Girl. She’s mastered something writers ache for – to keep your reader interested til the very last sentence.