Sharp Objects is the 2006 award-winning debut novel by Gillian Flynn. The main character has just finished treatment for self-harm after years of cutting words into her skin. I enjoyed this one better than the others of Flynn's books I've read, and if you want to try this author I'd definitely recommend Sharp Objects. Child endangerment just isn't a subject that I like to read novels about, and I only read them because they were being much discussed and I was curious. A TV mini-series is expected to air this year.
from the back of the book:
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims -a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story -and survive the homecoming.quotes:
I woke up that morning, hot and bored, worried about the hours ahead. How do you keep safe when your whole day is as wide and empty as the sky? Anything could happen.
"Okay, let's see... light conversation. Swing-set conversation." Richard scrunched up his face to mime thinking. "Okay, so what's your favorite color, your favorite ice cream flavor, and your favorite season?"
"Blue, coffee, and winter."
"Winter. No one likes winter."
"It gets dark early, I like that."
Because that means the day has ended. I like checking days off a calendar -151 days crossed and nothing truly horrible has happened. 152 days and the world isn't ruined. 153 and I haven't destroyed anyone. 154 and no one really hates me. Sometimes I think I won't ever feel safe until I can count my last days on one hand. Three more days to get through until I don't have to worry about life anymore.
"I just like the night."
The Guardian says, "in my opinion, Sharp Objects is hands down the best Gillian Flynn novel to date."
Kirkus Reviews opens a positive review with this: "A savage debut thriller that renders the Electra complex electric, the mother/daughter bond a psychopathic stranglehold" and closes by calling it "Piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying."
Publishers Weekly has a positive review, saying "she relives her disturbed childhood, gradually uncovering family secrets as gruesome as the scars beneath her clothing. The horror creeps up slowly, with Flynn misdirecting the reader until the shocking, dreadful and memorable double ending."
I have also read these other of her books:
Dark Places (2009)
Gone Girl (2012)