There’s a point in Sharp Objects when one of the characters, the youngest daughter of three, asks her mother which of her children she loves the most; she’s trying to assuage her fears that she can’t possibly be loved the best, that the first or second born must be the preferred children. Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn’s “third child”, her third book, and the best known and loved, but it’s Sharp Objects that does it for me.
A lot has been said about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, particularly in comparison to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Both are thrillers with unreliable narrators at the centre and both have stuff to say about women and modern relationships. I love them equally – it doesn’t have to be a choice, does it? This isn’t Desert Island Discs – but I think the main conceit is better in Train than Gone Girl.