Release Date: May 24th 2012
Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon
❝ On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? ❞
One of the first things that really stood out is the unreliable narration. The book features two narrators: Nick’s present day point of view while the investigation is going on, and Amy’s diary entries. From the very start I got the feeling that something was shady about Nick, as if he had a twisted perception of events. This was mainly because of certain thoughts and comments that made me extremely sure that Nick had indeed killed his wife. Later on, Amy’s diary turned out to be far from reliable too though. This kept up the mystery, because as a reader you can’t know for sure who is speaking the truth.
To add to this, I have huge respect for one particular skill Gillian Flynn has: the ability to make the reader shift alliances. From the very first chapter I disliked Nick. He seemed cold and not bothered by the disappearance of his wife, while at the same time doing such strange things like taking a selfie with a woman and smiling in a broadcast. At the same time, I felt such compassion for Amy, that poor woman who was victimized by her husband, like so many women have experienced. Until the plot twist, that is, where I suddenly felt sorry for Nick and could only think about Amy in combination with the words bitch and sociopath. It’s not easy to make readers feel a certain way about characters and then completely turn that around, but Flynn did it perfectly.
In addition, I really liked how fleshed out the main characters were. I got a sense of what they were like when the first started a relationship, how their relationship progressed and how their characters changed over the years. Around the time of Amy’s disappearance , both she and Nick had obviously become bitter and unhappy people. It’s about as realistic as it can get, because how often do love stories have a happy ending nowadays? In my opinion Nick and Amy’s relationship was such an accurate portrayal of many relationships in today’s time that start out perfect but slowly turn dreadful and how much people can change over the years.
Last but not least, the plot twist was a stroke of genius and completely unexpected. It gave the story a much more terrifying note. I simple loved it because it calls media out on how they always blame the husband or boyfriend when a woman disappears, and it shows how women are just as capable of committing a crime as men.
I had high hopes that Gone Girl would end differently than it did, but it wasn’t in the least bit disappointing. I thought it was the only other fitting option. All in all, I could not find any flaws in this book. It deserves to be in the mystery/thriller genre, but at the same time it’s so much more profound than that.