I became a Gillian Flynn fan with Gone Girl. Being a suspense author myself, I like to read what’s catching the reader’s eye. Particularly a book made into a movie.
After reading Gone Girl, I decided to go back and try one of Ms. Flynn’s earlier novels and I chose Sharp Objects. I was interested in this novel because it dealt with the subject of cutting which I’ve seen more and more in the teenage population and I was hoping the book would offer some insight.
If you haven’t read Sharp Objects— this is your SPOILER ALERT as I will basically be discussing the plot of the novel. You’ve been warned.
Camille Preaker is a journalist with a history of cutting words into her skin. She was raised in a small town with an overbearing mother and their relationship has been on the rocks since her sibling died many years earlier.
Camille goes back to this small town after a string of grisly murders involving several of the town’s children. While living and reconnecting with her mother and getting to know her younger and only remaining sibling better– she begins to suspect her mother of these murders.
When Camille begins to suspect this, both she and her younger sister begin to get ill and Camille not only suspects her mother of the murders but also of killing her younger sister ala Munchausen’s by Proxy.
Munchausen’s by Proxy is a mental health disorder where typically an adult caregiver intentionally sickens a child for medical attention.
In order to prove her theory correct, Camille goes to the local hospital to search through her deceased sister’s medical records.Which, of course, are released to her without requiring her to sign any sort of medical release. I would question even whether these would be released, at least initially, to a sibling.
While reading the medical record, Camille becomes convinced that she needs to question a particular nurse who brought up concern about this child during one hospital stay.This nurse happens to be on duty on the same unit TWENTY years later. Yea, sure. That’s quite a convenient coincidence.
Lastly, the nurse Camille talk to basically says there was nothing she could two decades ago even though she was concerned the mother might be harming the child.
This is patently false. A nurse, even in that time era, was and is a mandatory reporter. A physician’s blessing or order is not required to involve social services if the nurse suspects the child is being abused.
I didn’t enjoy Sharp Objects nearly as much as Gone Girl and I would suggest reading Gone Girl if you’re new to Gillian Flynn. I haven’t made up my mind about Dark Places but am willing to give the author another try.
Just wish she would have spoken to a nurse about this scenario.