The backstory: Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn's third novel. Update: it was longlisted for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction.
The basics: Nick and Amy are unhappily married. On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. Flynn tells their story in alternating chapters of Nick's reaction to Amy's disappearance, and his role as a suspect, and sections from Amy's diary stretching from their meeting to present day.
My thoughts: Gone Girl is a novel best enjoyed when you read it knowing little. Watching this story unfold was as thrilling as the story itself. As suspenseful and intriguing as the plot was, I was also enamored with Flynn's writing. She masterfully builds these characters as both deeply flawed and understandable. Telling the story in alternating voices, but in different times, provided the reader with historical perspective on the couple, a sense of their today, and insight into both of them and the different ways they viewed their marriage over time. Throughout the novel, Flynn drops clues that the reader doesn't know the whole story, such as "it was my fifth lie I to the police. I was just starting," and "I'm a big fan of the lie of omission." Trying to separate fact from fiction was intriguing and kept me guessing.
Favorite passage: "Dorothy has one of those '70s kitten-in-a-tree-posters--Hang in There! She posts her poster with all sincerity. I like to picture her running into some self-impressed Williamsburg bitch, all Betty Page bangs and pointy glasses, who owns the same poster ironically. I'd like to listen to them try to negotiate each other. Ironic people always dissolve when confronted with earnestness, it's their kryptonite."
The verdict: Gone Girl is a thrilling, mysterious, awesomely deranged tale of a marriage. Flynn kept me guessing throughout the novel, but more importantly, she kept me marveling at her mastery of language, suspense, story, character and pace.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 432 pages
Publication date: June 5, 2012
Source: publisher via Edelweiss
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Gone Girl from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.)
As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!