Fifty States Of Fiction: Missouri


We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!


Today’s State: Missouri

Nickname: Show-Me State

Motto: “The Welfare of the People Shall Be the Supreme Law”

Bird: Eastern bluebird

Flower: Hawthorn

Entered the union in: 1821

Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore Missouri as Gillian Flynn portrays it in Sharp Objects.


Wind Gap, Missouri is an utterly flat city surrounded by a thick wall of majestic trees. There, two little girls have been murdered. As panic grows, reporter and ex-Wind Gapian Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to cover the news. She bunks with her family in their hilltop Victorian mansion. Inside, the priceless ivory floor glistens in her mother’s off-limits bedroom. But Camille does her best to avoid the house that holds too many dark memories from her childhood. Outside, the rest of the city unfolds at the bottom of the hill. Camille searches the bluffs looking for clues. She hikes through the woods to a dilapidated one-room schoolhouse covered in graffiti and the stench of death. She scours Main Street, but even Wind Gap’s central hub is barren except for the dark-eyed face of Natalie Keene, Wind Gap’s most recent victim, staring out at her from the homemade “missing” signs taped crookedly to each lamppost. From bar to bar Camille hops, quenching her thirst for bourbon and straining to get something on the record from the police. Who would have thought the key to the whole story was hiding all along in her mother’s famous ivory-floored bedroom?

Have you read any other books set in Missouri? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Show-Me State means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore Montana through literature.

And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.

See you all next week!


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