By Gillian Flynn
Crown June 2012
From the library
I know that you all have heard about this book. It’s the 'it book' of the year, the one that everyone is talking about. Writers like Tana French and Kate Atkinson are singing its praises on the back of the book. You know six people who stayed up all night to finish this book. You are currently number 457 in the library queue to finally find out what happens in this book!
So…I’m going to tell you, because I’m a good book blogging friend like that. This book is divided into three sections and each one alternates between the perspectives of husband Nick and wife Amy. Nick’s sections take place in the present as he leaves for work on the day of his fifth wedding anniversary. He returns home to find his house trashed and his wife gone. Amy’s part is told through journal entries dating back to the very beginning of their relationship. As the police and Amy’s parents search for the missing girl, secrets come to light that seem to implicate Nick in his wife’s disappearance. Nick vows he had nothing to do with it and wants nothing more than his wife’s safe return. But if Nick didn’t kill his wife, then where is she?
Ok, so I’m not going to tell you everything. Trust me when I say that you would hate me a lot if I revealed all of the dark twists and amazing turns. You would also be reading a review that was several thousand words long.
This book is possibly the darkest and most twisty story that I have ever encountered. Author Gillian Flynn must have had a great time consistently overturning the reader’s perception of what was happening. By switching back and forth between Nick and Amy, neither of whom is always truthful, the reader is constantly working to figure out what is actually happening and who they are rooting for in this strange and very broken relationship. After both Nick and Amy lose their jobs and they move back to Nick’s boyhood home to care for his sick parents, the marriage begins to disintegrate because of faults of both husband and wife. While this novel is a thriller, it’s also an examination of the many ways a marriage can crash and burn.
Gone Girl can have a suffocating effect on its reader. As you follow Nick and Amy’s descent into a very intricate web of deception, it can feel like the walls are closing in on you and you are about to be left in a very dark, uncomfortable place. But the feeling of disorientation is tempered just a little by the sheer genius of what you are experiencing.
This is not the book to read if you have a weak stomach. Or if you like to know what is going on at all times. It’s not the book for you if you don’t appreciate being manipulated. You won’t like it if you hate unreliable narrators or main characters who are plain unlikable. But if you want to have your literary world upended time and again and to be completely stymied by the literary brilliance of an amazing writer, Gone Girl is a book you don’t want to miss.