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 he didn’t make them. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?
I bought this book when it was first published and read it as quickly as possible. I had heard so many incredible things about this book and I was expecting a symphony of words, a perfect storyline that weaved and dipped through the surrounding mystery whilst pulling me closer and closer into the knotted thriller. As you can probably tell, I was slightly disappointed when it came to finishing this novel however I couldn’t make up my mind about how to write this review; I’ve thought about it a lot, but, here it is, for your enjoyment.
The novel opens as Nick – “I used to be a writer… back when people read things on paper, back when anyone cared about what I thought” However there is a problem; Amy (his wife of five years) has disappeared. The front door is open, books are scattered everywhere, and the coffee table has been completely shattered. Once the police are called I became wary of Nick’s reactions; not only does he refer to her going missing in the past tense but also he seems distinctly okay with her going missing. He lacks the panic that would arise if my partner of five years had disappeared without notice or warning. He also quotes, “I wasn’t sure what to say now. I raked my memory for the lines. What does the husband say at this point in the movie? Depends on whether he’s guilty or innocent.” However, as the blame starts to show on Nick, the stance suddenly changes from Nick’s narrative to Amy’s diary. As the media story starts to build and build the stories start to interlink and converge together however the stories that Nick tells and the story that Amy’s diary tells are different; there are glitches between the two, which is odd. Nick also admits that he is telling white lies, but why? If he desperately wanted to find Amy why would he lie about anything? However, we later find that both Amy and Nick are liars. I won’t let on what happens but I can promise you that Flynn is brilliant with this; she keeps us guessing till the very last page.
In terms of the final chapters I found them rushed and unwilling; it may have been my need to get to the end and to understand however I felt they lacked substance and therefore, at times believability. However, the use of relationships and the lies that are told through relationships was entirely believable. Underneath the drama and the mystery is the foreboding sense of lies, and unpredictability. No doubt the way that it has gained so many readers are its peaks and drops that pull the reader onwards to the end of the story. However it is the use of relationships that kept me wanting more; as the story becomes more and more fraught the relationship is not longer intimate, it is a struggle, they become less like people and more like animals. In Gone Girl, we get to really see Amy and Nick’s characteristics and the way they fight and bicker. We also get to see the way their relationship has lost its charm. If you want to read a dramatic, punchy book that describes the way that relationships change whilst feeding you a mystery that you cannot work out till the very last page be my guest! But it may leave you feeling a little cold on the inside.