Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

"Gone Girl’ is a strong, stand-out novel..."


'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions storm cloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?' Just how well can you ever know the person you love?

This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war.

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Without giving too much away, what is read in the opening chapters is not all as it appears to be. The story is very cleverly written with sympathy swaying to whoever's part of the story is being told, and dislike is felt towards the other person at that time. Yet this changes when you get to see the other side of the coin and read the parallel narrative, but as the writing is so well done it is hard to fathom who really the victim is and who is the perpetrator. I did struggle at times as the flow of the writing is not easy but I would recommend any reader to persevere as the book as a whole, far outweighs this minor criticism. Neither of the main characters is particularly stable or easy to like. One is exceptionally manipulative, the other is weak with many faults. Although this makes them the opposite of the typical all round, near perfect protagonist found in many novels, I found Flynn's characters to be more realistic because of them. As the book progresses, one character becomes more and more disturbed, and the other character almost lowers themselves to their level leaving a very bitter taste in the mouth. The story has an ending without an end that will leave the reader with a few unanswered questions. Whilst some times this is frustrating, on this occasion, to me it felt appropriate. 'Gone Girl' in my opinion is not a 'happy ever after' kind of book but definitely an unusually written novel and one that certainly got me thinking about marriage. 'Gone Girl' is a strong, stand-out novel and for me, a contender for best crime novel of the year. Not bad as we're only in May!

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