Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn

Cover ImageFinished on  audio 2-20-08, rating 2.5/5, fiction, pub. 2006

This is a mystery wrapped in a disturbing family drama.  Camille must go back to her small hometown, Wind Gap, to cover a series of child murders for her Chicago newspaper.  There she is forced to confront her own troubled childhood and try to deal with her mother and half-sister.  Further complicating matters is that Camille is only six months out of rehab for cutting herself. 

Camille was a cutter from 13 until she was 30.  She carved so many words into her skin that she has to wear pants and long sleeves to cover them all.  Visions of Camille’s naked body with words cut into her flesh by her own hand is difficult to stomach.  It is through her relationship with her mother that you come to understand the psyche behind her obsession.

This was a haunting book.  Camille is difficult to relate to not only because of her cutting, but also because at every turn she was doing such stupid things.  This got great reviews, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it.  I think it might be a perfect fit for a book group because of the multitude of issues that are dealt with in this debut novel by Gillian Flynn.