Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Amy Elliot Dunne is Amazing Amy. She married the love of her life Nick Dunne and life was great until suddenly it wasn’t. Nick and Amy lose their jobs and find themselves packing up their things, leaving New York and heading to Missouri. What on earth is in Missouri anyways? How can Amy be amazing in a place that thrives on the banalities of life? As if that wasn’t bad enough her husband has become distant. In New York they were Nick and Amy, one entity, a team and now they’re strangers. What does it take to tear a marriage apart? What does it take to put it back together?

Nick Dunne is a flawed human but he doesn’t care. He was a writer until he lost his job, a New Yorker until he moved back to Missouri to care for his ailing father and he was a husband until he didn’t care anymore. Now he’s just Nick Dunne, the man with the missing wife. The man who is married to Amazing Amy, the beloved woman who cared for everyone and disappeared on their fifth wedding anniversary. Everyone loved Amy, but Nick he can’t for the life of him figure out why.

Flynn switches perspectives between Amy and Nick giving the reader a recount of what happened during their marriage and on the day Amy disappeared. I tremendously enjoyed reading both sides of the story especially one as twisted as this.

Although the writing was amazing I found that both Amy and Nick sounded the same near the end of the novel. They are both evil, self centred and narcissistic. The only difference between the two of them is that they have different reasons for being that way. I would be interested in reading more books by Gillian Flynn if only too see how she flushes out other characters, ones not filled with so much venom.

I loved the complicated theme of marriage that Flynn explored in the novel. She talks about what it means to not just be married but to be in love with your spouse. Marriage is hard and sometimes we lose ourselves in it, forgetting who we are or becoming someone else entirely.

Although I loved the story I found that at times it was far fetched. How far would we go to get revenge? How calculated is a psychopath? Obviously they would slip up somewhere, there has to be a loose thread, some way for the bad guy/girl to be put away, right? Maybe I’ve read too many stories with a happy ending, maybe I’m not realistic enough but I despised the ending. I loved the writing and the way the characters made choices that were true to their personalities but I didn’t like the way the story unfolded. It felt unclean somehow.

One of the best parts of this novel was the closing paragraph. Flynn talks about the perception that love is unconditional and that this is in fact a lie. Love has conditions we just like to act like it doesn’t, we want our husband and wife to be a certain way, we expect things from them wether we act like it or not. At the end of the day, nothing is unconditional we just like like to act like it is.

If you’re looking for a great beach read with lots of twists then this is the book for you. I read this while on vacation in Miami and although I had a love hate relationship with the story it was well worth the read.
After I finished, I turned to my husband and said “damn that was f*cked up*. Read and see for yourself.

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