Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publication Date: 24th May 2012
Who are you?
What have we done to each other?
These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
I started reading this book months ago, and I got distracted (as I tend to do a lot). I went through a couple of months of barely reading anything. However, when the reading slump was over and I got back into the books again, this was one of the first ones I started reading again. I’m so glad I did, because I flew through the remaining 80% of the book and I absolutely loved it.
The story follows Nick and Amy Dunne, a perfectly normal couple – or say they may seem, on the surface. Every anniversary Amy sends Nick on a treasure hunt, leading him to places that were once important to them or hold cherished memories. Then one day Amy goes missing. Is she dead or alive? Where did she go? Did someone take her? Who knows. They just have their precious time, their voluntary ‘Find Amy’ community group, and Amy’s latest treasure hunt to help them on their search. They must find out what happened fast – because the police and the media are turning on Nick, with a poisonous assumption that he murdered his wife.
The book switches between the perspective of Nick and Amy; in the first section we learn about Amy through her past diary entries, and Nick’s perspective tells the story of the investigation happening presently. In the later sections of the book, we begin to find out more about Amy’s mysterious disappearance, piecing together the puzzle – we soon find out that Amy was never really the person everyone thought she was.
The way that the book is written intrigued me. Dual perspective has to be written well, otherwise it can seem a little gimmicky. For example, the dual perspective in Allegiant by Veronica Roth, I didn’t like very much. It was confusing with both characters having the same ‘voice’, so it was difficult to distinguish the difference between them both. However Gone Girl‘s dual perspective is written flawlessly. Nick and Amy’s narrative voices are so completely different, and you can learn so much about their characters just from the way that they speak and they way they convey emotions and events.
The story is intricately written too: it is so well planned and researched, with twists and turns that nobody could possibly expect. Several times, I would almost be in shock at things that happened and the way in which things are explained. Flynn doesn’t hold back on the gritty descriptions of Nick and Amy’s relationship and the mystery that unfolds. Usually I can be a bit prude when it comes to sexual themes and strong language in a book – if it’s unnecessary I would quite frankly rather it not be in there. But with Gone Girl it just works, and it wouldn’t be the same without it.
Overall, I really love this book and when I have a lot less on my ‘to read’ pile, I’ll definitely be diving for some of Gillian Flynn’s other novels.
Click here to buy the book on Amazon (it’s currently only £3.85, with a 3 books for £10 offer. Don’t miss it!)
P.S. I wrote a guest post over on The Little Contemporary Corner – you should go and have a look here!