Author: Gillian Flynn
Synopsis: Marriage can be a real killer.
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 from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. 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?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
Why did I pick it up?: My sister, the Florida one, said she was up all night finishing it. You have to know her to understand how serious this was. She loves sleep, it's precious to her. Normally, I suggest books to my sisters and not the other way around. So when it happens, I take their suggestions and add it to my list, since they usually trust me.
Favorite Line: "So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn't make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I'm the one dating me."
My Review: Relationships can make people crazy. Everyone knows that, but some people are already psychotic, sociopaths beforehand and after. . .well. . .you'll have to read Gone Girl to see what I mean.
Real people are not easily filed away into categories of good and bad behavior and characters shouldn't be either. Gone Girl is full of fleshed out personalities. At the start, the story pulls you into the psyche of Nick beginning the morning of his wife's disappearance, but she teases with showing how much Nick knows. Is he guilty? Is he guilty? I needed to know. The chapters alternate between Nick's journey and Amy's diary entries which begin with her and Nick's first meeting seven years before she disappears. Both perspectives shed light into the darkest corners of the mind. I enjoyed the way Amy and Nick described the same events, it showed how they each viewed their spouse and what the other one was leaving out or altering.
Flynn shows the relationship ups, downs and insane bumps of Amy and Nick honestly, giving the reader just enough details to hope, cringe, laugh, admire, and worry about the couple's marital state and their psychological well-being in turn. It was an emotional roller coaster, complete with the nausea at the disgust with the extremes some people will go to save face or just to say they won.
Sometimes a book buzzes its way to bestsellerdom and everyone's reading it and they keep telling you to get on board because you're a big reader, are you not? So, you pick it up and it's fan fiction that makes you a little (or more than a little) uncomfortable. This is not one of those bestsellers. Gone Girl is a fast read and there are many unputdownable chapters that kept me up later than usual.
Recommendation: If you liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, even though you found the beginning a bit slow, you'll love Gone Girl which will pull you in without delay and none of the names will cause you to stumble and curse the Swedish language.
For Next Week: 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King