Sunday, December 14, 2014

ReView of DARK PLACES by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day lived through the moment that changed her existence for the rest of her life.  At seven years old, her fifteen year old brother, Ben, took an ax to her mother and two older sisters.  Twenty four years later, still "the Love Survivor of the Prairie Massacre," Libby Day begins to delve deeper into the past to re-examine more closely what truly happened.

I love Gillian Flynn for keeping true to the theme that nothing is ever as it appears from a distance.  Convicted for the murders of his family members and jailed for life, Ben happens to be misunderstood by his family, a willing victim to his sociopath vixen, and best of all braver than any of Day family members.  While this is Libby Day's journey to make sense of that day in the past, the novel is indirectly a journey of redemption for Ben.

Some people just come with a natural darkness within themselves, some resort to dark matters as a reaction of their circumstances, some resort to dark matters to be martyrs, and others just happen to be right dab in the middle of the former clashing together.  These are the dark places Gillian Flynn unravels slowly through the novel.

Gillian Flynn seems to have a flare for the darkness in communities, not just in individuals.  Deadening poverty.  Failed tourist town.  Self-deprecating lifestyles.  Fearful injustices.  Drugs. Animal sacrifices. Mindless hysteria. Characters in the novel have reactionary dysfunctions to their community dynamics, all of which leads the story to its tipping point.

What will shock you the most is when the novel reveals what truly happened that day when Libby lost her mother and siblings, and her brother Ben was jailed for it.  You come to learn and understand each and every one of the characters, their malfunctions, and their deepest reasons for all their actions.  At some point the novel even makes it possible to come to terms of their actions, only to find out the one character you learn least about influences the rest of the characters the most.

Something supposedly for the best intentions turns accidentally disastrous leaving only tragedy behind.

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Genre: Mystery
Format: Audio
Length: 349 pages
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
First Published: 2009

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