Monday, January 6, 2014

Sharp Objects

I am actually going to write about an adult book.  This one:

Sharp Objects

I decided to read this book because I read this book a few months ago:

Gone Girl

and I thought GG was, bizarre, despicable, and utterly brilliant.  Much as I would describe Sharp Objects (although, perhaps, not *quite* as brilliant).  Now that I think of it, Gone Girl could be a Black Whimsy novel as well, if only for the sheer delightful chicanery of the plot.  I feel like delightful chicanery is a BIG part of Black Whimsy.

Sharp Objects is not nearly so clever or well-plotted, but it does employ a rather interesting juxtaposition of childhood and murder that, I think, earns it a place in the Black Whimsy Museum of Quirky Novels.  The plot is this:

You have this reporter, Camille, who is sent down from Chicago to her home town Wind Gap to investigate the probably linked murders of two preteen girls.  She finds out who killed them plus a whole lot of dirt about the townspeople (especially her own family).

Mostly, this is a book about family secrets and yearning for love with some horrific and bizarre serial killer violence thrown in.  None of the characters seemed particularly realistic to me, but they were, none the less, fascinating.  Besides Camille, the main characters are Camille's perfectly controlling southern belle of a mother, and her old-beyond-but-not-wise-beyond-her-years little half sister Amma.  This is psychological thriller territory of the kind where you deeply hope things like what this family's got going on don't actually happen in real life.

 I think, more than anything, this novel would make a fascinating feminist study.

So I am counting it for my

 This is a thriller populated by women.  Women are the heroes, the victims, the villains, the innocent and the guilty.  Camille herself has some interesting views about feminism. The idea of the "Strong Woman" (or at least the "Strong-Willed Little Girl") plays a crucial part in the motives of the killings.  Women's relationships with other women, their need for validation, for acceptance, for control, is examined in depth.  I can't say much more than that without giving too much away, but, let me just reiterate, the whole thing is intriguing as all get-out.

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