So, after hearing a lot of hype about Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, I finally bought it. I expected it to be gripping, but I didn’t necessarily expect it to be good. There are many books I’ve read that catapult you through without being good. The Da Vinci Code, for example, was a very simplistic and two dimensional book, yet I couldn’t put it down. Gone Girl was an entirely different story (unlike every novel ever penned by Dan Brown).
Gone Girl is a twisty turny maze of a tale, so much so that I want to give away as little as possible. The two central characters are Nick and Amy, a New York couple that have both been made redundant thanks to the recession. They have moved back to Nick’s home town of to North Carthage in Missouri, originally to help look after his mother. The story alternates between the two characters’ points of view and begins one day when Amy goes missing. It quickly becomes apparent that Nick is the prime suspect, but things are not entirely as they seem and it is only after several loops that we finally arrive at the whole truth. Flynn does a fantastic job of eeking out the information so we only ever know what she wants us to know. It is a first class thriller, yet what this story is really about is relationships.
As my title implies, Nick and Amy’s relationship is very complicated. Indecision abounds throughout as to where one’s sympathies lie, and although you may decide there isn’t much to chose between them. Whilst the circumstances of their marriage are unusual, as characters they are very believable. They are loving and competitive and they know each other inside out. There were points when they reminded me of me and my life companion which was not the most comforting thought. Flynn weaves an intricate picture of their personalities and a lot of what comes out is based upon family life. Parents are very important in this story and have influenced both of them in a very real way.
Flynn also makes a pertinent comment about the media culture of today’s society, which you can see here in England but is I believe even more prevalent in America, as seen recently in the story of Christopher Dorner. Inevitably Amy’s disappearance is gathered up by the media and turns them into celebrities which adds a very interesting angle. Sadly I dare not tell you any more because I really don’t want to give anything away. It’s a very suspenseful novel and the less you know the better.
Next time… spoiler filled discussion of Hunger Games!