Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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4/5 stars.
Read from January 14 to 20, 2013.
ebook, 452 pages.

Another throw back review! I wanted to include this review on my blog as I have now finished reading all of three of Gillian Flynn’s novels and when I write up my last review I want to size them up against each other. Dark Places was my first book by Gillian Flynn, and is by far my favourite. Read in 2013:


 

Well, this book caught me off guard! I really didn’t enjoy the first fifty pages of this book because the characters were so despicable and miserable! I could not find any basis of relation to them and therefore didn’t really cared what happened to them. That however quickly changed.

Libby, as a child, becomes the lone survivor of a mass murder that affected her entire family. The murder was spattered over every piece of media and was a big deal for a lot of years. As a reader, you entire the story when Libby is an adult and has been living off money from the fame of her families murder. While you initially feel sorry for her it quickly fades when you realize that she is kind of despicable and has done absolutely nothing with her life. She just seemed to accept that her own brother Ben was responsible for the crime and  that he was everything the media claimed he was.  It’s not until she runs of money that she gets involved with a fanatical group of people who are interested in famous and gruesome murders that she really starts to wonder what happened and begins to unravel her past and back to that horrible day.

I believe that Flynn really captures the innate curiosity that people have with “dark places”, the unknown, as well as how far human anguish can be pushed, and the limits in which people’s wills and can be stretched. What initially kept me going through this book, was this fascination. I really wanted to know if everything that was being said about Ben was true, not because I cared about Ben or Libby at the moment, but rather I wanted to actually envision a person that was legitimately capable of performing such a murder and I wanted to know as much about the inner workings of this person as much as possible. As the story continued to unfold I did find myself beginning to feel empathy for the characters, and that, mixed with this curiosity made for one hell of a dynamite book.

This novel is what the counterpart to a true crime novel would legitimately look like if it were written honestly. The true story, not the Hollywood sob story, of a victim of a horrendous crime; the remains of a broken human being that has never moved on and refused to accept her past. This is Libby. When Libby really started to actually deal with her horrifying past, is really when the novel starts to kick off and the ending is so rewarding after reading about how lifeless and miserable of a person she was. I found that in the end, this book is truly about redemption and forgiveness, not just of others or what has happened but forgiving ones self.

Beyond all that though, this novel is a killer mystery! I thought I had it somewhat figured who the killer was, though I wasn’t sure of the motive at the time, I was so stunned with what actually unfolded and the series of events the brought it all about. Wow!

Highly recommended for mystery lovers and those who like psychological thrillers! I look forward to picking up her other novels.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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5/5 stars.
Paperback, 717 pages.
Read from November 06 to 12, 2012.

I’m going to start doing some throwback reviews as I have a lot of reviews that I’ve written that haven’t been published on my blog as of yet. I’ll start with one of my all time favs, Jane Eyre which I read for the first time back in 2012.


 

Oh wow! The best book I’ve read this year by far! I’ve got this one my favourites list. This book caught me right from the start and I couldn’t put it down. I devoured a 700+ page novel in less than six days.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel and it proved to be unlike any book I have ever read from this era. I think what I love most about this novel is that it is partially autobiographical, so it pleases me to know that woman like Charlotte existed in that time frame and that her brilliance has been retained in writing.

Jane is a head-strong and ambitious woman and this story entails her struggles growing up as a woman in the 1800’s and the difficult choices that she had to make to keep her independence and dignity, many of which most women today would even struggle to deal with. This book was a head of its time (published in 1874)  but was well received by the public even though it contradicted some of the widely held beliefs about women. While this novel is a feminist coming of age story about Jane it is also a love story, and one of the best I believe.

***Spoilers Ahead***The anticipation and build up of her relationship with Rochester I found extremely intense! The descriptions of yearning and heartbreak severely tugged on my heartstrings. Even when things did work out and they were first set to be married, I was surprised to find  found myself yearning for the standard romance that was famous in this era, and I could not understand why Jane would not participate in the happiness and romance that Rochester was trying to instill on her. I did eventually understand though, Jane did not want to be cared by or doted on by Rochester as she could take care of herself. She wanted an equal companion to love, which she would not get until the end when Rochester is blinded and they are finally are able to be together after so much separation and misery. It was so beautiful to have to two of them come together in the end after everything they had both been through. ***End Spoiler***

Jane’s personal struggles, rebellions, strength and the self-respect that she demanded out of herself and others in an age where men controlled the lives of women still blows me away. I find myself thinking in certain aspects of my life “What would Jane do?” and it helps me remember that I am the most important person in my life, that I deserve respect and thinking of Jane helps to remind me to continue to take care of myself in this way.