Book Club Discussion Prompts: Sharp Objects

Thursday, August 21, 2014

As previously promised, here are some book club discussion prompts inspired my IRL book club's last meeting, for which we read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.  One of my favorite things about book clubs is finding out the different perspectives each reader had on the characters and story.  Some of the women in my book club were deeply disturbed by Sharp Objects, and some were utterly unfazed.  It's such a great insight in peoples' psyche.

I personally loved this book, and cannot recommend it enough.  I am, of course, a sucker for any type of dark, twisted tale.  Especially one that takes place in a small town full of emotionally disturbed individuals.  But in addition to that, Gillian Flynn is an extremely gifted storyteller.  I can't wait to read the rest of her books.  

Find book club discussion prompts for your own use after the jump!  WARNING - spoilers ahead!

1.)  What do you feel the significance of the small patch of untouched skin in the center of Camille's back?

2.)  What did you feel was the most shocking twist in Sharp Objects?  Did you empathize with Camille at any point in particular when intense new information was revealed?

3.)  How did you feel when reading the passage where Camille and Amma went to the party?  Why do you think you felt that way?  Were you nervous for Camille?  

4.)  Why do you think we find out about Camille's previous psychological hospitalization in the way that we do?  What do you hypothesize happened in Chicago to have pushed her there?

5.)  Who did you suspect was the killer throughout the book, and why?

6.)  What do you think was Camille's motivation for sleeping with John?  Did you agree or disagree with her decision, and why?

7.)  This book deals a lot with violence by women, against women.  What parallels do you see in the violence displayed by Camille, Adora, Amma, and Adora's mother?  In the violence displayed between Ann, Natalie, and Amma?  In the mentions of self-harm from characters other than Camille throughout the book?   

8.)  Another theme throughout the book is childhood emotional trauma, and how permanent its effects can be.  What were some examples of this throughout the story?  How did the children mirror the adults in the story?  

9.)  What did you think of side characters, and their purpose in the story, such as Meredith?  Or Katie?  Or Jackie?  

10.)  Why do you think the author chose to set the story during the summertime? 

11.)  What do you feel is the symbolism behind the Adora owning the slaughterhouse?  What do you think it says about the fact that it repulsed Camille, but entranced Amma?  Why do you think we never learn Adora's feelings about it? 

Feel free to write your responses to any or all of these in the comments!  

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