Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What I'm Reading: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

“Love is the world’s infinite mutability; lies, hatred, murder even, are all knit up in it; it is in the inevitable blossoming of its opposites, a magnificent rose smelling faintly of blood." –Tony Kushner, The Illusion

When this is the quote at the beginning of a novel about a couple, you can imagine that it’s going to be pretty dark. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl doesn’t disappoint. From the very beginning of the book, you can tell Nick and Amy Elliot Dunne (Amazing Amy) are not in a good place…and then Amy is seemingly happy and singing in the kitchen while making crepes for her and Nick’s fifth wedding anniversary. Then, just like that, Amy is gone.

First, Nick seems distraught. Then he starts telling little lies and before you know it, he is flashing his winning smile for the cameras at a press conference where he should be pleading for his wife’s safe return.  

Nick and Amy each tell the story of their love from their perspective—Nick in present day and Amy through years of diary entries. Just when you get wrapped up in a blossoming New York City love story, the edges start to fray.  What was beautiful quickly turns ugly as the couple relocates to North Carthage, Missouri (Nick’s home town) to deal with family issues.  Soon, the space between them is wide enough  to make room for all sorts of indiscretions and Nick goes from sympathetic husband searching for his wife to clearly capable of murder. Not just capable, he clearly did it. You’re ready to sentence him and then, Flynn takes you on the REAL adventure.

This book is a real page turner. From the moment I started reading, I couldn’t put it down and when I had to, the characters stuck with me. I loved Flynn’s Dark Places (reviewed earlier this year) and Sharp Objects but Gone Girl trumps them both. You know the bumper stickers you see on cars proclaiming that someone’s child is an honor student at such and such academy? Gone Girl is the kid that gets the bumper sticker. Her sisters are pretty awesome but she is at the top of her class.  Now, go get the book before I dive into another slightly off point metaphor.

p/s I started What I’m Reading with the intent to force myself into reading at least one book a month this year. I’ve actually done it. Can’t believe it. It’s amazing what happens when you re-prioritize your time.  Ok…getting off the soapbox. Anyway, I picked enough books to get through August so after I finish Fame by Daniel Kehlmann, I’ll need a new list. Any suggestions? 

1 comment:

Robyn Schneider said...

I was soo disappointed with the ending!!!! we need to discuss.