Sharp Objects

For the television adaptation, see Sharp Objects (miniseries).

Sharp Objects is the 2006 debut novel by American author Gillian Flynn. The book was first published through Shaye Areheart Books on September 26, 2006, and has subsequently been re-printed through Broadway Books.[1] The novel follows Camille Preaker, a newspaper journalist who must return to her hometown to report on a series of brutal murders.


  • 1 Characters
    • 1.1 Main Characters
    • 1.2 Supporting Characters
  • 2 Synopsis
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Reception
    • 4.1 Awards
  • 5 Adaptations
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Main Characters[edit]

  • Camille Preaker: A young journalist at Chicago Daily who is trying to make a better life in Chicago. She has suffered for years after the death of her sister Marian at a very young age. Camille spent time in a psychiatric hospital near Chicago after years of self-harm.
  • Amma Crellin: Born as Amity Adora Preaker Crellin. Camille’s 13-year-old half-sister, who is the “it girl” in the town of Wind Gap, Missouri. She lives a double life as a perfect Southern daughter to Adora and also the mean girl to the rest of the town. She terrorizes those living in the town as she attempts to rule everyone around her.
  • Adora Crellin: Camille and Amma’s mother, a strict woman who rarely shows any type of emotion towards Camille, and treats Amma like a baby doll. Her family is the wealthiest in the area and owns many of the businesses in the surrounding areas, and she has a firm hold on the doings of Wind Gap.

Supporting Characters[edit]

  • Detective Richard Willis: A detective from Kansas City homicide division tasked to investigate the crimes happening in Wind Gap.
  • Alan Crellin: Adora’s husband, Amma and Marian’s biological father and Camille’s stepfather. He is well reserved, quiet and believes whatever Adora tells him even if it is a lie. He is not strict towards Amma. He let her do everything she pleases and provides whatever she asks for.
  • Ann Nash and Natalie Keene: Two innocent victims of a gruesome crime in Wind Gap being investigated by Camille Preaker and Detective Willis. Ann, 9, first victim. Natalie, 10, second victim.
  • Chief Vickery: Chief of police in Wind Gap. He asked the help of Detective Willis to help investigate the crime.
  • John Keene: He is the 18-year-old brother of Natalie. He is one of the main suspects of the murder of his sister Natalie and Ann. His alibi during the disappearance of his sister sounds suspicious to the police and town people.
  • Frank Curry: Camille’s Editor-in-Chief, boss and friend. He encouraged Camille to return to Wind Gap to cover a story of unresolved murders in her hometown.


Camille Preaker works as a journalist at a small newspaper. She is not particularly satisfied with the job, which includes writing stories about human neglect and crimes such as murder. Camille gets along somewhat well with her boss Curry, who supported her during a recent hospitalization due to self-harm. Camille has carved many words onto her body—having previously hallucinated them on her skin. Curry gives her a reporting assignment to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, where one girl has been murdered and a second is missing.

Once in Wind Gap, Camille manages to gain some information about the crimes from the townspeople, including the family of Ann Nash, the murdered girl. The local police are not particularly forthcoming about the murder, but the town sheriff divulges to Camille off the record that he believes that the murderer is a Wind Gap native, not a stranger. Soon the body of the missing girl, Natalie Keene, is discovered in an alley in town. Both she and Ann were strangled, and had all of their teeth removed. Camille publishes a story cobbled together from the information she has received, only for Curry to ask her to remain in Wind Gap for further coverage of the story.

While there, Camille reconnects with her estranged mother Adora and half-sister Amma. Camille never had a good relationship with her mother, as Adora always preferred Camille’s younger sister Marian, who died due to an unspecified illness when Camille was young. Amma, who was born after Marian’s death, has grown into a spoiled preteen who behaves like a young child in front of her mother to hide her wild personality, drug and alcohol use, and sex life. Camille connects with a Kansas City detective, Richard Willis, sent to investigate the potential of a serial killer.

As Camille continues to investigate, she begins a sexual relationship with Richard. During each encounter with him, Camille refuses to remove her clothes out of fear that he will reject her after he sees all of her scars. Camille and Amma begin to grow closer. After attending a party with her sister where the two of them get drunk and take drugs, Camille wakes to find her mother Adora caring for her. She is given pills that make her sick. Camille is horrified to discover that Adora does this to Amma frequently, and realizes that her sister Marian’s illness was not hers, but Adora’s—Münchausen syndrome by proxy. After some investigation, Camille finds a letter written by a nurse caring for Marian that shows that the nurse had these same suspicions. Camille also discovers that Richard believed Adora to be responsible for the murders of Ann and Natalie. She returns to her mother’s home, where Adora poisons Camille and tries to care for Camille’s wounds while bathing her.

Camille passes out, but awakens to find Richard and the police arresting her mother. He is horrified to see the extent of her scars. This ends their relationship, despite his earlier claims of genuinely falling for her. Adora is charged with the murders of Marian and the two girls, and Amma is sent to Chicago to live with Camille. Amma initially seems to be healing from the abuse she received from Adora, but soon after she begins attending a girls’ school in Chicago, a classmate is discovered murdered, having had six of her teeth pulled. It is then revealed that while Adora did kill Marian, Amma was ultimately responsible for the recent murders and that she did it in part because she was jealous of the attention Adora was giving them. Distraught, Camille cuts herself again but is stopped by Curry and his wife, who take her in as their own daughter. The story ends with Camille learning to be cared for as a child and a daughter for the first time.


While writing Sharp Objects, Flynn found that it was initially difficult to maintain the book’s “”moist,” gothic tone”, as she “didn’t want it to be EW bouncy.”[2] As she was working for Entertainment Weekly while she was writing the novel, Flynn wrote the book predominantly on nights and weekends, a few hours at a time.[3]


Critical reception has been mostly positive.[4] Kirkus Reviews gave a favorable review for Sharp Objects, calling it “Piercingly effective and genuinely terrifying.”[5] The Star-Herald also gave a positive review, praising the book’s gradual revelations.[6]


  • New Blood Fiction Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association (2007, won)[7]
  • Ian Fleming Steel Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association (2007, won)[7]
  • Duncan Lawrie Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association (2007, nominated)[7]


In 2008, British director Andrea Arnold was reported to be directing an adaptation of the novel for French production company Pathé, but the project never materialized.[8]

In 2012, Flynn confirmed that film rights to Sharp Objects had been purchased by Blumhouse Productions and Alliance Films[9] with Flynn working as the film’s screenwriter.

On July 9, 2014, it was announced that Entertainment One would be adapting Sharp Objects into a television miniseries of the same name with Flynn serving as executive producer alongside Jason Blum and Charles Layton. Marti Noxon wrote the pilot script,[10] and serves as show runner. A straight-to-series-order of eight one-hour episodes was announced by HBO on April 1, 2016. Sharp Objects stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker and is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.[11][12] The series began filming in various California locations in March of 2017 and premiered on July 8, 2018.


  • ^ Lee, Stephan (March 29, 2013). “See the new covers of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects and Dark Places — Exclusive”. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ McClurg, Jocelyn (September 27, 2006). “New voices: Gillian Flynn makes thriller debut”. USA Today. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ “Author Gillian Flynn reveals madness behind writing”. The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. June 23, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ Steffen, Amie (August 6, 2012). “Sharp Objects a stomach-wrenching journey into family torment”. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ “Sharp Objects (review)”. Kirkus Reviews. May 20, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ Yellman, Abby (April 1, 2013). “Sharp Objects keeps reader interested”. Star-Herald. Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ a b c “Gillian Flynn wins with Sharp Objects”. CWA. Archived from the original on December 7, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ Mitchell, Wendy (August 6, 2008). “Forward, Slingshot start shooting UK school horror Tormented”. Screen Daily. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  • ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (November 30, 2012). “Hollywood’s Most Powerful Authors: Gillian Flynn on Adapting Gone Girl, Being Too ‘Wimpy’ for Crime Reporting and Her Best Advice to Writers (Q&A)”. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  • ^ Highfill, Samantha (July 9, 2014). “Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects is coming to television”. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  • ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 1, 2016). “HBO Orders Sharp Objects Drama Series Starring Amy Adams From Marti Noxon, Gillian Flynn, Jean-Marc Vallée & eOne”. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  • ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth. “Amy Adams to Star in Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects TV Adaptation”. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  • External links[edit]

    • Official website

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