Book Recommendation: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I found myself starting Gone Girl at night, thinking I would read for an hour before sleeping. Little did I know I would stay up until five a.m. to finish it. It’s hard to describe Gone Girl without giving away its intricate plot, but I promise, I’ll keep it a secret until you read it.
In Gone Girl, Chicago novelist Gillian Flynn explores the consequences of a marriage gone awry, where two people know each other so intimately that their relationship becomes toxic. Flynn’s caustic wit drives a story that is as elegant as it is disturbingly grim.
Amy Elliot Dunne and her husband Nick are a seemingly perfect couple. Yet five years into their marriage, their life together begins a downward spiral. Both she and her husband lose their jobs, causing them to relocate from their New York brownstone to a rented mansion in Nick’s crumbling Missouri hometown.
On their fifth wedding anniversary, when matters seem like they could not get worse, Nick returns home to find Amy mysteriously missing, and his house the center of a CSI-esque crime scene. As Nick and the police pursue the trail left by Amy’s killer, it becomes evident that Nick is evasive, deceitful, and bitter about more than her disappearance.
Following the pattern of conventional thrillers, Gone Girl leaves a trail of potential suspects, secrets, and false leads. The story weaves in and out of both Amy and Nick’s points of views, shedding light on the past and the present. But there remains more beneath the surface. Like the plot, Flynn’s devices are not what they seem. Through them, she subtly guides us through the story’s murky waters, dissecting the disappointment of discovering one’s imperfection and the lethality of failed expectations.
Although the characters fall flat at times, Flynn’s intricate and engrossing narrative is more than enough to compensate for it. The rich complexity of the plot, paired with Nick and Amy’s beliefs about themselves and one another, escalates the urgency of their unraveling marriage and the mystery shrouding it. The turning point (about halfway through) felt predictable without being gimmicky or disappointing, although the ending was anything but expected. As I read the final page, I found myself turning back to savor moments of stunning twists and intricate revelations that left me unsettled for days.
Source: I bought this book at my local Barnes and Noble.