This gritty novel begins with the narrator, and only surviving daughter’s self description of: “I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”
Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places takes on this sense of unease as the story catapults back and forth to the night that Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Libby flees into the frigid January night, and later testifies that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, is the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and Libby revisits what she called the Dark Place. As she joins the Kill Club, a macabre underground society, she is forced to collect testimony from the key players that night. The terrifying events are replayed through the eyes of Libby’s surviving family members–including Ben.
Ultimately, an unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a ruthless killer.
…Grace Brookman finds herself wrapped up in the perfect, self-absorbed New York daydream – until her husband goes out one day and never returns. Suddenly Grace’s life crumbles beneath her, leaving her responsible for everything left behind – including covering for her husband’s disappearance. Leaving evidence of his existence everywhere becomes easier than she has suspected… Until his dark past resurfaces, along with a few other mysterious occurrences, which forces Grace to take things into her own hands once and for all.
Coraline’s discovery of a parallel apartment, through a secret portal, brings excitement into her otherwise dull life. Her Other Mother pays more attention to her, makes delectable meals and proposed that she stay with them forever. Coraline realized that her other parents are much more demented than they appear. With buttons for eyes, they eventually would like Coraline to follow suit – replacing her eyes with shiny black buttons, as well. Ultimately – Coraline must find a way to escape this alternate universe, saving her real parents in the process.
A story of two souls colliding amidst the chaos of war makes up this 531 page novel. Maurie-Laure resides with her father in Paris, where he works in the Museum of Natural History – master of its thousands of locks. At age six she goes blind, and relies on miniature models he builds to memorize her neighborhood’s intricate layout. Her resistance to the horrors of war is showcased by her strength and courage throughout the novel.
“When I lost my sight… people said I was brave… But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don’t you do the same?”
Meanwhile, in a mining town in Germany, orphan Werner becomes obsessed with constructing radios – becoming a commodity amongst Hitler youth. As the novel progresses – Werner and Marie-Laure come closer together in a brilliant climax.