Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn (2012)
Gone Girl is the third critically acclaimed fiction novel by Gillian Flynn. Published in June 2012, the novel was voted an Amazon.com Best Book of June 2012 and won prized reviews on Amazon and other social media sites. The book is an exceptional mystery that interprets the intricacies and complexities of modern day marriage with plot twists in the vein of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
In summary, Nick and Amy Dunne are about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary in Nick’s rural Missouri hometown. Beautiful, blond, Amy Elliot Dunne is a native New Yorker and the couple has moved back to Missouri to care for Nick’s ailing parents. The novel moves through the unique perspectives of both Nick and Amy. The story begins with Nick’s point of view on the day of their fifth anniversary when he discovers that Amy has disappeared. Nick is described as a ruggedly handsome writer who woman love (imagine Brad Pitt). Details emerge and Nick becomes a suspect in Amy’s disappearance and comes under the scrutiny of police and his wife’s doting parents. Amy’s parents, New Yorkers, Marybeth and Rand Elliot are the world famous authors of a series based on their beloved daughter which is called Amazing Amy. The Elliot’s are deeply in love after decades of marriage and collaborators on the Amazing Amy series. The couple seems more involved with their book series and their perfect love than the real Amy. As the plot takes many different directions, Amy’s family background plays a key role in understanding her complex character. Nick is also influenced by his own family which includes a cool twin sister, Margo or “Go” as well as his doting cancer stricken mother, Mo, and his despised Alzheimer’s ridden father. The novel has many twists and I will not spoil the fun in this review.
As a reader, I was so excited to discover this book from the reviews I had read online. I loved the dichotomy between the perspectives of Nick and Amy. About halfway through the book, I came to hate both characters and almost quit the book but continued to read and enjoyed the metamorphoses in both Nick and Amy. Flynn is a gifted writer; she employs a rich attention to detail and keen understanding of both the male and female points of view of marriage. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the places the characters inhabited and the effects the localities had on their psyches. Gone Girl was a definite treat that I enjoyed in a two day read. This book is one readers will love!
Finally, I was excited to see Gillian Flynn on The View discussing her book. Apparently, actress, Reese Witherspoon has bought the rights to the book and will perhaps be portraying the character, Amy Elliot Dunne. Unfortunately, Ms. Witherspoon does not fit my image of Amy. I hope many readers will enjoy this amazing novel before viewing the film, as books are sometimes a better way to enjoy a story. Gone Girl is an exciting and engrossing work of fiction. I am glad I read the book first as characters created through one’s imagination have the most lasting effect. In closing, Gone Girl was one of the best books I have read in years and I was a bit sad to say goodbye to the dysfunctional but fascinating Nick and Amy Dunne. As Whoopi Goldberg implied on The View, “Let’s hope for a sequel.”
*I hope readers will leave some other thrillers they have devoured in the comment box for all of us to read! Also, who do you think would be the best actors to play Amy and Nick Dunne?