A couple years ago I picked up Gone Girl and was quite impressed. It was the kind of book that was really hard to put down, and more than anything, the style was incredibly relatable. Often I find it difficult to relate to characters or themes because I find them to be fake or outlandish, but for some reason Gone Girl made sense to me. As an aside, I still haven't seen the movie but I hear it is pretty good and I really want to see it, just haven't gotten around to it yet. Long story short, I knew that Gillian Flynn had other books, so threw one on my reading list and it just happened to be Sharp Objects.
This was a very good book. Not the kind of thing that will be studied in literature courses in 100 years, but it was my kind of story. It had my kind of characters. And it was told in a way that I really enjoy. Maybe being from the Midwest makes stories set in that region easier to digest, I am not sure. I recommend this book to anyone, although you probably have to be comfortable with "adult themes".
On one hand this was just a old time murder mystery, but on the other hand, this was a story of getting older while never really growing up. A story about the long lasting ripples in people's lives that result from tragic events. Moreover, there is an interesting play between the power of actions as well as the power of a lack of action. That not doing something can sometimes be just as powerful as an overt act.
There are a lot of emotional issues at play in this book, many of which relate to the mother-daughter relationship. I did not feel a lack of understanding even though I clearly lack any direct experience of this. Perhaps I just find it easier to empathize or understand people who are a little on the messed up side of life.
I won't give anything away, but similar to Gone Girl, Sharp Objects has a lot of twists and turns, and what I would call a couple surprises. Definitely hard to put down.