1.20.2015

Between the Lines: Dark Places

Two blog posts in one day?! You got it. I just couldn't pass up two great link-ups so I decided to do both! I am so excited to be participating in Between the Lines with Anne from Love the Here and Now and Kristyn from Chits & Giggles. This month's book was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. 



1. Libby became famous as a victim—how do you think this strange fame effected her? 
Oh Libby... I struggled with her character at first. I'm the kind of person that really tries to strive in the face of adversity, which made it hard for me to relate to her. I mean, no child should have to experience the hell she was put through in this book, but her lack of motivation, negativity, and pity party just seemed to annoy me at first. I think this strange fame sure worked a toll on her. Instead of rising above the unfortunate circumstances, she hid from the world. I also felt like she milked her fame in a way; she seemed to be always looking for the next best way to profit off of her horrible misfortune.

2. What do you think of Patty Day as a mother? Is she doing the best she can, or is she making excuses for herself? 
This is a really challenging question to answer. I think Patty was definitely doing the best she could, even if her best was nothing like what our own best might be. I empathized with her character for the most part. However, I did dislike the fact that she was stashing money while claiming she was "broke." I feel like she was a well-crafted character in the book. 

3. Why do you think the author chose to set the murders on a farm? What images and themes does the heartland and farming evoke?
To me, the heartland and farming evokes a sense of despair. That sounds awful but often times farming is a hard, hard job that can take a toll on a family unit. Farming, to me, is also associated with pride. Often, farms are passed down through the generations and families take great pride in them. I think the author's choice to set the murders on a farm just helped to convey the complex mess that this family had gotten themselves into. The pride Patty felt over her family, to the extent that she was willing to give her own life. But really, I don't have a good answer to this question.

4. What do you believe in Diondra’s motivation throughout the story? Does her relationship with Ben change him?
Diondra.... another complex character. I think her motivation throughout the book was selfish. She came from a home where her parents were not around and where she was given anything she wanted. Te hat can leave a girl feeling empty and alone, causing her to seek approval from others. In this case, that other was Ben. Ben was easy to manipulate and he needed her (unlike her parents). This probably made Diondra feel like she was filling some sort of void in her life. Regarding her relationship with Ben, I think it did change him. However, I think that change was for the worse. 

Have you read the book? What were your thoughts?

Love the Here and Now
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18 comments :

  1. You summed up how I felt about Diondra's character perfectly. I had a hard time believing she could go from just being this mixed up child to having so much rage inside of her. I didn't see the ending, when Libby meets her, coming at all- so that was surprising to me.

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  2. Oh Diondra. I hated her character and the way she treated Ben. I thought he deserved so much better, but he was easy to manipulate. I still can't believe that she didn't take the fall for the murder and that her daughter was as messed up as she was.

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  3. Yeah-- I struggled with her character and it's nice to know I wasn't alone.

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  4. ME TOO. Poor Ben... YEAH I didn't see the daughter part coming at all.

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  5. Diondra was not a likable character in my eyes. She was pretty sketchy. I hated what she turned her daughter into as well....keeping her hidden yet telling her everything...just so weird!

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  6. I'm with Carly - you definitely described how I felt about Diondra, but I had a really hard time believing her character. I definitely didn't see the ending coming, and I wouldn't say it was contrived, but it was a bit of a stretch for me.

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  7. YES. Such a weird thing-- like what would compel a person to even do what she did in the first place, but then TELL HER DAUGHTER about it?!?! WHAT THE.

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  8. I can totally agree with you on Diondra's role in the ending...

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  9. I love your thoughts on the heartland aspect! I didn't think about it in that way. Once I read what you wrote, I couldn't help but think of things like the Great Depression and the dust bowl. Choosing to give Patty a profession that is handed down with great pride (like how they took a picture of her and runner with the first champagne that her parents ever had when they took over the farm) was perfect. Patty definitely had pride, but pride was probably a major theme in the book, in hindsight. There weren't many characters who weren't driven by excessive pride, which was usually their downfall. The only person with no pride, but also no scruples, that I can think of, is Runner. Also Patty's sister had pride, but her's was in the fact that her family had value, regardless of their financial situation, which I wish that Patty had.

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  10. YES! I noticed pride as a key theme as I was answering the question about the farm too. Pride can make people do some horrible things.

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  11. I definitely did not finish this. I am going insane. Send help.

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  12. WHAT. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW AND GO FINISH IT!!!!!

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  13. I struggled with Libby in the beginning too, and almost put the book down. The mystery got me though and I kept going. I think she changed for the better towards the end.

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  14. Yeah, I have to agree with you- she definitely got better!

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  15. I so need to read this. I love Gone Girl so much that I'm sure I'll love this too!

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  16. g.flynn gives me LIFE.
    she's an incredible author.
    i devoured sharp objects three years ago in a matter of two days and then everything else she wrote (essays included) shortly thereafter.


    her darkness is different and honest and i love it.

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  17. OH YEAH. I know she creeps some people out but I just LOVE her style so much!

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