Study Guide

Dark Places Family

By Gillian Flynn

Family

They're creepy, and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. Yeah, not the Addams family—we're talking about the crazy Days. Despite being a little monstrous, the Addams family at least seemed to love each other, even when electrocuting each other or playing with a guillotine. For them, it was all fun and games. In Dark Places, on the other hand, the Day family is as disturbed as the Addams family is goofy.

Questions About Family

  1. Why is there no trust within the Day family? Is it typical of a family with a teenage boy and three girls, or are the Days different?
  2. How might the Days' lives have been better if they didn't have a violent, deadbeat dad? Would the events of the book have happened the way they did?
  3. Will Libby and Ben make amends? Should they make up just because they're siblings?
  4. We see very few other families in the book, aside from Krissi Cates's family. How are the Cateses similar to the Days, and how are they different?

Chew on This

Libby believes family is important only because she has lost all of hers. Because of this, any new family is important, and this is why she doesn't turn Crystal in at the end. Also, Crystal might know more about Libby's family than Libby herself does, because Crystal read Michelle's diary.

Libby's desire for family only goes so far. She doesn't reconnect with her father, but that's mainly because her father is too terrible to connect with anyone. He sees his family just as another group of people he can use up and toss away.

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