If you haven’t read or heard of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, where have you been? It’s currently tipped to out-sell 50 Shades of Grey and wow does it deserve to. This book is unbelievable in so many ways.
Gone Girl is a psychological thriller and it is both of those things in the extreme. I was recommended this book by a university friend and as I came to each twist and turn (of which there were many) I couldn’t help texting her with messages like ‘NO WAY!!!!!!’, ‘Surely not…?’ and ‘That CAN’T happen’. I honestly haven’t been so gripped by a book since Game of Thrones.
This novel is clever. Very clever. I usually pride myself in predicting the twists and turns in a novel, but with this novel, even when I did predict the next move, it made me question myself and my ideas, so my constant attempts to out-smart the author actually ended up out-smarting me. Maxine Hitchcock of Simon and Schuster UK put it beautifully when she said.“It gets your grey matter working…It is an interactive experience; you’re constantly thinking and challenging yourself. By the end, you feel as manipulated as they do.”
So what’s it about? The novel flits between the narratives of Amy and Nick Dunne, a married couple who have long fooled themselves into thinking their relationship is something it is not. Amy is the basis of the children’s books Amazing Amy, written by her psychologist parents. Her life is a constant reminder that she does not live up to the ideals her parents have set for her in their books – she married the ordinary man, she doesn’t have children, she’s lost her job, and has had to move out of New York to become the housewife to man who no longer appreciates her. Nick, on the other hand, was a fantastic writer but when he also loses his job, his self-esteem goes with it. He moves back to his home town of Missouri with Amy in order to look after both his sick parents. He loves his mum, but his relationship with his dad is far darker – his dad is both misogynistic and antagonistic, and these traits do not improve with his onset of Alzheimer’s. The disharmonious relationship between Nick and Amy is further strained by resentment and power play – something they both claim was never their intention.
This novel is predominantly not a love story. One day, on their 5th anniversary, Amy disappears. Living room trashed, front door wide open – she’s gone. But where? No one knows, and it does not look like an accident. Who’s the prime suspect? Nick. The public don’t like him – his attitude to Amy’s disappearance is odd, mechanical, like he’s hiding something. Nick is stuck trying to the play the role of the loving, devoted husband of the missing (possibly murdered) Amazing Amy, but is failing miserably. The cops don’t believe him. The public don’t believe him. But who else could it have possibly been?
I don’t want to say too much about this book for fear of giving too much away, but I can not recommend it enough. Everyone should be reading this book. It messes with your mind in ways that no ordinary book can do. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t ‘like’ the ending, simply because the justice of it is off-kilter, but it is fitting. Very fitting and very clever. The intelligence of this novel is reason enough to read it, and it’s gripping writing makes it all the more enjoyable. Buy it. Read it. >>