Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

A secret truth about family therapists: we collect your stories and share them with our friends like pirate treasure. And we laugh. Oh…how we laugh. Because if we don't, we'll go insane. You see, we gather the stories like childhood quilts, to wrap up in, to keep ourselves safe. Let me see if I can put this simply. The more they are story, the less they are real. It helps.

But there are certain life events, people you meet, that creep in to the head and take hold. Families so extravagantly sick and damaged that they cannot be turned into a simple story. In meeting them, in working with them, their very depravity invades and injures the therapist, too.

Two families come to my mind without thinking, at all. And both remind me, specifically, horrifically, of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects: A Novel. My objective review is brief. A great, vicious, small town mystery. The objects in the novel are not nearly as sharp as Ms. Flynn's wit. She must have weaved this story on a sick loom, for she is a sick sick woman. And I love her for that.

Obviously from what I've written here, the novel took me back to some rather disagreeable moments with previous clients. And what kind of a writer would I be if I couldn't spin a tale without keeping some secrets for myself.

I am reminded of a young boy, who stabbed his mother several times in a darkened kitchen. My interviews with this child were brief and fruitless, he didn't care, couldn't remember why he did it. The next day, I found a justification. The wounds were shallow and the mother chose to come to court for the arraignment. She wore an old cardigan like a shawl, and mid lobby, threw it off with a flourish, revealing butterfly taped wounds and raw stapled cut puckers. She was radiant and beaming. Oh to be the victim, and to play it so well.

Who's more frightening?

Next Book:The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon