Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn
Contributed by Marshall Raine
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Chapter 5
Summary

When Camille wakes up in the morning, she decides to have breakfast with her mother and Alan, who both apologize for the behavior displayed by Amma the previous night. They try to chitchat, but Amma comes in and sits across Camille at a kitchen table. She kicks Camille under the kitchen table but smiles at her parents. She then says that Camille is much like a Cinderella and that Amma is like an evil stepsister. Amma continues to say that she hopes that she could get killed because it would make her life much more comfortable. 

Adora reveals to Camille that she was close to the killed girls, but she would not say how exactly. Camille gets annoyed because her mother always manages to make everything, even little things, about herself. She says that every bad thing that happens in the universe happens to Adora and this makes her stomach turn. Camille then remembers that before Marian died, Adora locked herself in the ivory-floored bedroom for a whole year and would not let anyone in.

Later in the day, Camille runs into the detective at a diner. Camille accepts to provide the detective with an overview of the town's criminal history, but the detective has to give her something she can use in her upcoming story. Every time she thinks about the town’s past, she recalls her childhood. Camille reveals that Adora got pregnant with her when she was seventeen. She describes her father as a Kentucky boy her mother met at a church camp over Christmas. After giving birth to Camille, her mother’s parent died, and she was left all alone. However, after some time, she met Alan, a friend’s son, who later married her. Camille recalls that though it was customary to view her mother's husband as a father, there were no links between them whatsoever. When she was a young girl, her mother got pregnant with Marian and later gave birth. Marian was always sick, but the doctors never found any illness.

Back in the present day, Camille sees Amma with her friends while driving along the Main Street. They are stealing things from Natalie’s makeshift shrine. Later during the night, Camille calls her boss, to update him on her progress. Frank insists that Camille must write a perfect article on the murdered girls.

Analysis

This chapter reveals Amma's impulsive wild and violent behavior. She steals things from Natalie Keene's Memorial and kicks her half-sister under the table. This and the fact that Adora was close to the murdered girls acts as foreshadowing of more dark secrets to be exposed in other chapters. The chapter also touches on the relationship between the detective and Camille. The detective is not a Wind Gap local, which is why Camille is attracted to him. She feels like she is more like him because Wind Gap makes her feel like an outsider. In the subsequent chapters, this feeling grows even stronger. Since coming back to her hometown, Camille has experienced more personal decline than ever before in her life. She is drinking more and thinking about harming herself. She recalls that when she is away from Wind Gap and her mother, she is more able and responsible, but coming back in town, surrounded by unpleasant memories and old acquaintances, makes her feel like a teenager again. The novel explores this predicament in later chapters.

This chapter also reveals that Camille grew up without her father’s love. Alan did not understand her, which is why Camille does not think of him as a father. Adora is more like Camille, she too, grew up without a father. Her parents died when she was young and she had no one to love her, which is why she in turn does not love Camille. Adora gave birth to Camille at a younger age. She was not ready to be a mother yet which is largely the source of their bad relationship.

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