Thursday, October 4, 2012
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
If you like: relationships * betrayal * celebrity
Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy -- their relationship, marriage, and the eventual unraveling of both. Amy is missing, and all signs point to her murder at the hands of her husband. Nick claims innocence, but, in addition to the irrefutable evidence against him, he has been having an affair for over a year. Nick does not seem trustworthy, but there is just enough doubt to leave the reader wondering if he could be innocent after all.
In some ways, Gone Girl is made up of three stories: Nick's, Amy's, and the story of their mutual destruction. Throughout the entire book, the reader can't help but wonder if they are listening to a reliable narrator. Nick is lying to the police, is he lying to us as well? What about Amy? Her diary paints a vivid picture, but can we believe her accounts? Gone Girl makes you question which character you want to believe in, want to be the hero. Amy and Nick play both the protagonist and the antagonist. As you read further it is difficult to imagine what a happy ending would be, and if that is something either character deserves. Any narrative that can manipulate the reader without making him or her feel betrayed is truly masterful.
Gone Girl asks us to question what makes a relationship good, or a couple well suited for each other. Some couples seem perfect on the outside, but their private moments reveal it is all for show. Others may not seem classically romantic at first glance, but privately their lives are so intertwined it would be impossible for them to live without each other. Does true love mean sweeping romantic gestures or knowing the heart of another better than they know themselves? It is easy to judge what goes on behind closed doors, but is impossible to know the truth.
If you want to win your marriage at any cost, read Gone Girl.
Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl: A Novel. Random House, Inc., 2012. Kindle Edition.