title: Gone Girl
author: Gillian Flynn / Twitter
genre: crime thriller/mystery/suspense
published: June 2012
first line: When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
Oh Gillian Flynn, how you love to mess with people’s emotions while reading.
Gone Girl is my third Gillian Flynn book and I am eagerly awaiting for her to pen another novel. This author easily became an instant favorite after I read Sharp Objects then Dark Places. I went into this one pretty much blindly, I have not seen the film version and I did not know much about the story-line except that the wife went missing.
While I enjoyed reading Gone Girl overall I did have one qualm. The slow pace from the beginning to the middle of the novel. I kept wanting something to happen. Once the latter half of the book picked up I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The story is narrated in alternating chapters by married couple Nick and Amy. We get Nick’s side of the story then we get Amy’s diary entries and her side of the story.
These two are New Yorkers who have both lost their jobs. Nick is originally from Missouri and worked as a journalist in the city. Amy is an only child whose parents made their wealth from the “Amazing Amy” children’s books that they co-wrote. The books are modeled after Amy and she is somewhat of a celebrity as a result. Amy worked for a magazine creating magazine quizzes but was let go since her job pretty much became nonexistent. It was interesting how Nick and Amy got their college degrees in the 90’s and each obtained jobs that wound up just kind of not being necessary anymore.
After they both lose their jobs Amy funds Nick’s business venture, a bar in his hometown and they both move back to Missouri. Amy goes missing one morning leaving signs of a scuffle in their home and her anniversary present to Nick behind. With the police investigation in full swing and the case gaining public attention especially since Amy is known for the Amazing Amy books, you wonder whether she is alive or not and what really happened to her.
As the story flows, I suspected Nick but I thought that would be too obvious the answer. He is an unreliable narrator and you see how he resents Amy and her wealth but takes full advantage of it. You also see how Amy feels she is getting older and might be losing her husband’s interest. This is one of her biggest needs, to control people and things.
“In the middle of the night, I’ll turn to face him and press myself against him. I’ll hold myself to him like a climbing, coiling vine until I have invaded every part of him and made him mine.”-p. 400, Gone Girl
“She was gone, and yet she was more present than anyone else.” – p.214
This novel is full of unlikable characters and as per Gillian Flynn books you can’t help but want to know more. The story is well crafted and just as you think one thing is happening another plot twist emerges that makes you think otherwise. The author strings you along, revealing tidbits here and there and you are never really sure what to believe. I love that about Gillian Flynn novels, the not knowing what to think . And as per the author’s usual, the ending leaves it open for the reader to wonder what might come next. The mystery is solved and we know the answers but we are left dumbfounded. Flynn likes to leave you wondering what might happen next after all is said and done.
I enjoyed Gone Girl overall even with the slow pace at the start. There are themes of wealth, infidelity, loyalty, obsession and revenge in a suspenseful story-line full of plot twists and unlikable characters. Gillian Flynn is a must read author.
“I was the embodiment of every writer’s worst fear: a cliche” p.145
About the author:
Gillian Flynn was the chief TV critic for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and now writes full-time. Her first novel SHARP OBJECTS was the winner of two CWA DAGGERS and was shortlisted for the GOLD DAGGER. Her latest novel, GONE GIRL, is a massive No.1 bestseller. The film adaptation of GONE GIRL, directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, won the Hollywood Film Award 2014.-quoted from Amazon
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I purchased my copy of Gone Girl.
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