In the High Peaks

Friday, March 14, 2014

Reading Upheaval and Flynn's Sharp Objects

When you pick up a novel and the back cover includes a lengthy blurb from Stephen King, explaining how terrifying the book was for him, you know you have a horror novel in your hands. I did not even see the quote until I was more than halfway through the book, because I was reading so compulsively. Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects is very accomplished and extremely well-done, a much finer novel than Gone Girls, to my mind. The horror toward the end--well, yes, it gave me the heebie-jeebies, but I was prepared. Mind, I can't even get near the third chapter of a Stephen King novel, so Sharp Objects was definitely not a Kingish or Kingian-Horror type of novel. Just good ol' family horror and very well done. Please refer to my previous post as well. Do note: I don't read horror, but I could so appreciate Flynn's considerable skills--character development, strong plot, well-handled setting. Yes, I recommend it, without doubt. If you tend to be a squeamish reader, though, I would recommend reading a detailed synopsis before trying it.

March Priorities and Reading Upheaval:
I am most certainly reading March, the Civil War novel by Geraldine Brooks for Caroline's month of March Literature and War Readalong  I must post my thoughts by March 31. Geraldine Brooks's The People of the Book is a peak favorite of mine. So incredibly well done. I adored it. So I have high hopes for March, which won??? Was it a Pulitzer or the National Book Award? It won something big.

My reading upheaval is that I've catapulted myself into a children's book writing project, so I'm spending lots of time reading children's books. No question about it: This cuts into my adult book reading time, but carry on with grown-up books I will! Currently I'm reading The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart. The novel feels strange to me, 70 pages in, because I don't find any of the main characters likeable, including the protagonist, Mary Grey. Yet what I'm noticing is that I'm becoming more interested in her as the pages fly by.

We were dumped with 18 inches of snow and frigid temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday. The snow will extend the winter sports season, which is fine with me, but near zero temperatures are not welcome.


  1. Reading The Ivy Tree was an unusual experience for me, too. I never connected with any of the characters, yet still enjoyed the story. Not sure whether I'll try another Mary Stewart though...

  2. 18 inches of snow? We've had a mild winter here in the UK, thank goodness. It makes a change from last year.

  3. I was waiting for you to finish Sharp Objects. I didn't enjoy this read. It gave me heebie-jeebies, as you put it, and more so as the story went on. The trauma just got worse.

    This book put me off from reading Gone Girl, but I will probably see the movie. I have read that there is a different ending. That intrigues me.

    But the book -- no more first person traumas, which worsen as the book goes on. A dysfunctional family doesn't even come close. A psychopathic one fits better.