If you've been watching the new Sharp Objects series on HBO, you already know that author Gillian Flynn can craft one seriously gut-wrenching story. The book, written by the author of Gone Girland Dark Places, and the HBO adaptation tell the story of Camille Preaker, a journalist who returns to her hometown to cover the murders and disappearances of young girls. But she left the tiny town of Wind Gap, Missouri for a very good reason, and as she tries to discover the truth of the missing girls, she also unearths disturbing secrets from her family's past.
If you haven't already read Flynn's debut novel, now is the time to pick it up. The writing is incisive and chilling, and Flynn eloquently expresses what it means to be a person who is trying to be good when their past is filled with darkness and pain. The book is a thriller and a mystery, but it is also a smart, thoughtful, and critical examination of mental illness, addiction, grief, self-harm, and family trauma.
To give you a taste of this fantastic read (or refresh your memory of the book), here are 15 chilling quotes from Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.
If you or someone you know is considering self-harm or experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
1. “They always call depression the blues, but I would have been happy to waken to a periwinkle outlook. Depression to me is urine yellow, washed out, exhausted miles of weak piss.”
2. “Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with ever-gestating diseases. Women with conditions. Men, sure, they have bone snaps, they have backaches, they have a surgery or two, yank out a tonsil, insert a shiny plastic hip. Women get consumed.”
3. “The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”
4. “Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them.”
5. “Problems always start long before you really, really see them.”
6. “There was nothing I wanted to do more than be unconscious again, wrapped in black, gone away. I was raw. I felt swollen with potential tears, like a water balloon filled to burst. Begging for a pin prick.”
7. “Every time people said I was pretty, I thought of everything ugly swarming beneath my clothes.”
8. “I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence.”
9. “I've always been partial to the image of liquor as lubrication, a layer of protection from all the sharp thoughts in your head.”
10. “I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It's covered with words - cook, cupcake, kitty, curls - as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh. I sometimes, but only sometimes, laugh. Getting out of the bath and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, down the side of a leg: babydoll. Pull on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: harmful."
11. “How do you keep safe when your whole day is as wide and empty as the sky?”
12. “People got such a charge from seeing their names in print. Proof of existence. I could picture a squabble of ghosts ripping through piles of newspapers. Pointing at a name on the page. See, there I am. I told you I lived. I told you I was.”
13. “Sometimes I think I won't ever feel safe until I can count my last days on one hand. Three more days to get through until I don't have to worry about life anymore.”
14. “I paced a bit, tried to remember how to breathe right, how to calm my skin. But it blared at me. Sometimes my scars have a mind of their own.”
15. “I'm here, I said, and it felt shockingly comforting, those words. When I'm panicked, I say them aloud to myself. I'm here. I don't usually feel that I am. I feel like a warm gust of wind could exhale my way and I'd be disappeared forever, not even a sliver of fingernail left behind. On some days, I find this thought calming; on others it chills me.”