In a world where everything dark is in and chick lit is out, Gone Girl fits right in. This is one of those books that grabs you by the collar, shakes you up a bit and won’t let go until you raise your head 489 pages later and utter a “what the hell just happened?” to whoever might be standing (or sleeping) next to you. The odd thing is within the constraint of its genre (film noir, mystery) it offers some interesting insights about marriage and gender expectations.
The next chapter goes into one of Amy’s diary entries—five years prior—when she first met Nick and gives us an insight of what those earlier days were like.
In alternating chapters between the two narrators in two different timelines, we get a sense of who they are. Well, at least we think we do. Pretty soon, Amy’s disappearance turns into a media frenzy. Nick keeps saying the wrong things, gets caught in a few lies and can’t explain what he did the day of Amy’s disappearance between breakfast time and the bar. Even worse, he can't figure out the clues his wife left him on their anniversary's Treasure Hunt. Before he knows it, he becomes the number one suspect in her disappearance.
So far, it seems like a pretty standard Lifetime movie, right?
This novel is so cleverly written that halfway through the book it takes a twist that challenges everything you thought and believed. That, and the fact that Flynn’s style is so engaging and unique (particularly when it comes to Amy’s voice). Someone called it a nice blend between literary and commercial. I have to agree with this assessment. While the plot moves quickly, there are reflections about gender relationships and marriage that I believe many readers may feel identified with. Having said this, there were situations that seemed too convenient for one of the characters, plus I wasn’t fully satisfied with the ending—though I would say that it was original and unexpected.
Despite its qualities (voice, character complexity, interesting plot) this novel is not for everybody. Like the cover suggests, the book is somewhat sinister, the characters extremely flawed and not very likable, and some may even consider it contrived. But there is something about the premise—that famous hook—that makes you keep reading until the big question is answered. I recommend this book to those readers who love suspense, plot twists and murky characters.
If you've read this book, care to share your thoughts with me?
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