Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Always Blame the Husband...

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On their five year anniversary, Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, goes missing. The police are phoned and Nick cooperates with them as much as he can, but his lack of emotion about his wife’s disappearance seems a bit fishy. Coinciding with Nick’s account of the disappearance, Amy’s diary tells the story of the couple’s meeting, engagement, and marriage. At the end, Amy does not paint a pretty picture of their marriage. This book tells the story of a couple who seemed so perfect for each other, but had lately fallen into dire straits and a husband who cannot seem to tell the truth and is suspected of his wife’s murder.

The chapters in Gone Girl alternate between narrating from Nick or Amy’s perspective, so the reader hears both sides of the story, but one must question if the narrator is a reliable source. Split into three sections, the book frustrated me in the first and densest section. Nick comes off as cold, unfeeling, and an ass. Amy seems intelligent if not a little stuck-up. There were some passages that got under my skin in her section because they were not at all the way any woman I know would act or feel. In the diary, she seems to hide her feelings and just be fine with whatever Nick wants to do. Come on, what woman doesn't get annoyed when her partner doesn't show up for an event!? But their relationship was falling to pieces according to Nick’s discussion of it, and Amy’s diary paints a picture of Nick as miserly and threatening towards the end. This is a toxic relationship and it was difficult to read. I hated the first section because the way it depicted marriage made me question if anyone should get married. How well do you really know your partner anyway? Their marriage sucked the life out of me and I dragged my feet through section 1.

However, this book took a turn in sections 2 and 3. They are shorter and read faster. A lot of action and incident happen within these parts instead of just interior dialogue, investigation, and relationship building/deconstructing. These sections made the book click together and create a unique and interesting plot. The ending will leave you wondering what will happen in the future and perhaps with a bit of frustration.

This might be a love/hate book, but I didn't love or hate it (except for the first section, which I did not like). Flynn writes her characters well. You feel what they feel and get frustrated over their actions. The intelligence of these characters rolls off the page and I enjoyed the level of language used.

Although not going to become a literary classic, this is an extremely popular book at the moment and like other good books, it sticks with you after you've closed the back cover. I’d recommend this to people who enjoy a good suspense story.

~Kristin M.

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