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Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark PlacesDark Places by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have seldom come across as intensely unlikeable a character as Libby Day in the first chapters of this book... and yet the way the author described (showing, not telling) her inner thoughts, her incredible sense of despair, her lackadaisical soul... I was absolutely compelled to follow through and find out for myself... could this thoroughly unlikeable character actually follow an arc over the course of this story? Indeed could this individual... who did not mellow one bit but did become more complex and understandable as the early chapters passed... could she somehow be 'redeemed'? And what, exactly, would redemption look like for a soul as lost as hers in the context of a brutal family slaying such as the one this novel revolves around?

The book tells the story of a relatively lost and depressed soul named Libby Day who was the sole survivor of her family's massacre decades before. And, in parallel, alternating chapters throughout, slowly unfurls the terrifying, simmering, disastrous events that tumbled together on that fateful day and night so many years ago... as told from the historical perspectives of the now imprisoned older brother and deceased mother.

An amazing tour de force in my opinion. I have not yet read Gone Girl so I do not know how this stacks up but I loved this book, if for no other reason (there are many) but for no other reason than for witnessing the deft hand of the author sculpt out this pitiful character and somehow help her find her place in the world after navigating a series of repressed memories (i.e., the Darkplaces) and solving the truth of the terrible crime in the present day.

Looking forward to reading other novels by Gillian Flynn in the near future!

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