I went into Sharp Objects with extremely high hopes. After stumbling upon and loving Dark Places I was certain that Sharp Objects would be even better. However, I was kind of disappointed.
It had nothing to do with the writing. Flynn is an absolutely stunning writer. She’s wonderful at blending the now of the characters with snippets of history, setting the scene and giving characters that would otherwise fall to the background an identity.
The characterization was also masterfully done (I know, you’re wondering why I was disappointed if I loved so much about it…I’ll get to it.) Flynn has a unique way of building characters that I really wouldn’t like if I met them, but I find myself rooting for them in the story. The thing I found most fascinating about Camille, the protagonist of Sharp Objects, is her style of cutting. She carves words into her skin and whenever she’s feeling particularly off kilter she associates the words in her skin with the situation she’s in. Unique and brilliant, that’s Gillian Flynn all over.
Now…what I didn’t like. I don’t have mommy issues. My mother is a wonderful, loving albeit sarcastic piece of work, who did an amazing job raising three girls who have grown up to be practically normal. I could connect with Camille in a lot of ways: rebellious teenager, snarky, distant. But I was totally disconnected from her any time she dealt with her mother. I have no basis of comparison which, really, is a good thing.