By Gillian Flynn
Release Date: May 24th, 2012
Genre: General Fiction/Thriller
Wow. Where to even start with this book? First of all, it’s going to be hard to review this one without posting too many spoilers. Since the book is so widely talked about, many of you already know the gist of the story, so I don’t feel too bad about talking about some of the more major plot developments, but I’ll try to keep from posting anything that might be too spoilery. Anywho, here we go.
Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne have been married for exactly five years when the story opens, as it is their anniversary. Immediately, we learn that Nick is a little disillusioned with his marriage, thinking that Amy isn’t the woman he married and further explaining that things had been difficult for them the past couple of years. The morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick leaves the house early and kills a little bit of time before going to the bar that he and his twin sister, Margo (Go) run together, funded by the last of Amy’s money. It isn’t long before Nick receives all call from a concerned neighbor, claiming that their front door has been left wide open. Nick heads home, only to find that his house had been ransacked and his wife is missing. From then on, things get really difficult for Nick. After alerting the police about his wife’s disappearance, he immediately becomes the prime suspect. As the evidence against him starts to build up, Nick is left to convince everyone that he is innocent and that his wife isn’t the sweet, loving victim they believe her to be.
Here’s the first big bombshell I don’t feel too bad about sharing, as I figured most of you know about it anyway. Nick believes that Amy isn’t dead and is, in fact, framing him for her supposed disappearance and murder. But why would she do this? To get back at him for being a lousy husband, of course. The measures that Amy takes to build up the evidence against him are crazy, leading us to understand that she is vindictive and hateful toward her husband, as she had also been feeling the strain of their marriage.
Clearly, Nick and Amy aren’t the best of people. They each made mistakes and hold each other accountable for the kinks in their marriage. As I read and delved deeper into the problems they were encountering with each other, I really started to wonder who was to blame for everything that had happened and that’s not something that you can really answer easily. They each contributed to the failing marriage, and it makes it very difficult for a reader to decide which “side” they’re rooting for. That was one of the more minor issues I had with the book. I like characters that I can relate to and identify with. In this case, Nick and Amy weren’t very likable at all. Usually, I would’ve had a very difficult time finishing a book when not invested in the characters, but this one – as you’ve all guessed – is quite different from other books. It’s strangely addicting, dark, and twisted. And the ending? It’ll leave you with your jaw on the floor and guessing what happens next.
I gave this book four stars instead of five mainly because of the characters. I definitely loved the layers that Flynn gave both Nick and Amy. They’re human. But many of the issues they dealt with in their marriage consisted of the fact that neither thought the other was the “person they married.” In fact, Flynn leads us to believe they both were pretty much faking their true selves while dating and for the first two years of their marriage. That’s a long time to keep up a façade. I just… don’t believe that two people could spend so much time with each other and take so long to realize that one is a lying asshole and the other a vindictive bitch. On top of that, they’re both incredibly intelligent but they just keep falling for each other lies. I guess it just left me a little frustrated. In addition, I found it hard to believe that the police didn’t find any evidence against Amy at the end of the story, either. (Not going to go into more detail, as it deals with a VERY big spoiler).
It was just those little character quirks that left a bad taste in my mouth, thus the four stars. Other than that, though, Gone Girl definitely proved to be a page-turner and I’m so glad I finally read it. I wasn’t (too) disappointed with the twisted plot everyone had raved about and I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re looking for something dark and gritty. As for me, I’m off to see the movie on Saturday!