I'm almost in the water.
So, instead of doing a whole lot of swimming, I did a whole lot of reading.
One of the books I absolutely devoured was called Dark Places: A Novel.
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
This book is both a mystery and a tale of self-awakening. Gillian Flynn's writing style is stark yet incredibly descriptive. The first two sentences, in fact, had me sucked in immediately:
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you can stomp on it.
There are certainly some dark themes in this novel, and the story switches between present day and the tragic, violent past. The main character, Libby Day, is a self-hating, depressed smart-ass, yet somehow ends up being endearingly flawed, as she navigates through the memories of a family that didn't have much of a chance at happiness in the first place.
But not all is murder and mayhem in Dark Places. Somewhere, between the past and the present, there comes the realization that there can always be, no matter how bad the past was, a light at the end of the tunnel.