I received this book for free from Library for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Published by Random House LLC on 2012
Genres: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Thrillers
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Captivating and twisted story. Complex characters challenging preconceived notions of right and wrong and testing the limits of love and marriage.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“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?”
Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy, a seemingly yuppie couple living in Manhattan who lose their jobs and move to the Missouri suburbs to care or Nick’s ailing parents. While they seem to complement each other initially (like Amy’s type A personality NYC wealthy upbringing to Nick’s more laid-back, popular guy, easy-going mentality), their differences and struggling finances fuel their resentment to one another. Even their anniversaries are stressful as Amy sets up treasure hunts pointing Nick to locations of special memories for her but most of the time Nick can’t even figure out the clues.
By their fifth anniversary, both of them are miserable and the love is gone. Amy vanishes after leaving the treasure hunt clues for their anniversary and making Nick breakfast. The house looks like a struggle took place, her blood was found and cleaned up in the kitchen and the living room is in disarray with furniture thrown about. What transpires is a media circus surrounding Nick who doesn’t seem upset enough that his wife disappeared until he really becomes the prime suspect for her murder. Does he really want the woman found who makes him feel like a failure? Without her, it looks like he murdered her even though her body hasn’t turned up.
This is the first book I have read by Ms. Flynn and it certainly warrants the rave reviews it’s received so far. She gives a different view of marriage and what drives people to make the choices they do. What is a perfect marriage anyway, is there such a thing? Ms. Flynn also explores the parent-child relationship. Amy’s parents have profited from her childhood and turned her into “amazing Amy” a line of best-selling books. Amy, an only child, feels pressured to be amazing in everything she does, but that level of perfection and achieving parents high expectations gets tiresome. How does she deal with these expectations? I never guessed what would transpire in this story, it was full of so many twists and turns and it’s hard to write much without spoilers.
This was a suspenseful and quick read. The story and characters captivated me, I never knew what would happen next. I look forward to reading other stories by Ms. Flynn. Her style is much like Diane Chamberlain who is my favorite author. Very complex characters, testing the preconceived notions of right and wrong in a very twisted, suspenseful story.
“Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”
“There’s a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”
“My mother had always told her kids: if you’re about to do something, and you want to know if it’s a bad idea, imagine seeing it printed in the paper for all the world to see.”
“I was told love should be unconditional. That’s the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge? I am supposed to love Nick despite all his shortcomings. And Nick is supposed to love me despite my quirks. But clearly, neither of us does. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times.”
Books Like This You Might Enjoy
No One Knows by J.T. Ellison – a 5* thriller about a husband’s disappearance and a wife desperate to find the truth
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – a 5* thriller about a wife’s disappearance
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain – a 5* thriller about a sister’s apparent suicide
The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young – a 5* thriller about a child’s disappearance
If you read it, what did you think of Gone Girl? Who do you think should play Nick and Amy if a movie is made? What other books have you read that are similar to this? I am always looking for good suggestions of books to read!