Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (pub date 6/5/12)
“Can you imagine, finally showing your true self to your spouse, your soul mate, and having him not like you? So that’s how the hating first began.”
I’ve always believed that great characters are what make a great story. Making a fictional character seem human is a lot more difficult than it seems. I’ve read plenty of books in which the author spent way too much time on “what happens next” and no time developing the characters. But here is a book with incredibly realistic characters. . . in fact they’re frighteningly real.
It’s a story we’re all familiar with: a beautiful and much-loved woman goes missing, the story goes national, the public begins suspecting the husband. However, Gone Girl takes this storyline and turns it upside down. When Amy Elliott Dunne goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her husband Nick is shocked and terrified. Despite the fact that their marriage had been rocky in recent years, Nick cooperates fully with the police investigation. Amy is controlling and often manipulative, but Nick still wants her back. But then the police discover Amy’s secret diaries, revealing secrets that Nick would rather have kept hidden. Suddenly the “golden couple” doesn’t seem so perfect.
The story twists and turns all throughout the book, keeping you guessing until the very end. Was Amy kidnapped, or did she run away to escape an unhappy marriage? Is the whole thing a hoax? Is Nick capable of murder? Filled with nonstop suspense, Gone Girl is both a thriller and a portrait of a marriage in trouble.
I want to go on but I don’t want to risk giving anything away. I simply loved this book. I can’t say enough how amazingly real the characters are. Nick and Amy are two incredibly dark, screwed-up people. They remind me so much of the couple from House on Haunted Hill (the Vincent Price one, not that remake garbage). The lies, the manipulation, the deviousness on both their parts, it all makes for an enthralling (and at times disturbing) read. And the ending is delightfully subtle, sure to inspire debate in book clubs everywhere. I personally couldn’t stop thinking about it for hours after I had finished the book.
When I say that characters make the story, this is what I mean! Gone Girl has fascinating characters and a tightly woven plot, and is a must-read for fans of suspenseful stories.