As if I wasn’t already leery, this book makes me completely horrified of getting married. I mean, it’s terrifying. Not just in the murder-mystery sense – but also in its very realistic depiction of how two seemingly happy and well-matched partners can fall out of love and slide effortlessly into resentment and, eventually, hate.
Gone Girl is a novel about an intriguing woman, Amy Dunne, who disappears from her house under ominous circumstances the day of her 5-year wedding anniversary. As the reader, you are carried through events beginning with her disappearance from the point of view of her husband, Nick, as well as back through time via entries from Amy’s diary. You learn from both characters about how they met and fell deeply in love – and also how that love gradually soured (as it so often tends to do AMIRITE?). It’s equal parts suspenseful, mysterious thriller and depressing (/at times hilarious) commentary on the state of present-day marriage. It’s difficult to review this story without giving too much away…but suffice to say it’s a definite page-turner. At times a little scary in the literally-scary way, but mostly scary in Flynn’s heartbreaking accuracy of how good love can go dangerously bad.
It’s fascinating to hear the same situations told from two glaringly different perspectives, and made me ruminate on the way that disparity is often exhibited in real-life couples. I found myself sympathizing with both characters; having trouble knowing what to believe, or how to feel (I’m a Libra, ok). Is Nick a psychotic villain who did away with his wife or is he a proportionately-flawed human guy in a really shitty situation? Who is to blame for the slow decline of their happiness? And is it ever any one person’s fault? Well-paced and riveting, this story is so carefully crafted that even though Nick’s narrative is told first person – literally from inside his head – I STILL found myself wondering what he’s really thinking. How does (author) Gillian Flynn do that? So damn clever.
Anyone who’s fallen in love and then watched, in apparent helplessness, as all the things that you used to adore about the other person eventually become reasons to loathe them…it definitely hits home. Uncomfortably so. And as for the ending – well – suffice to say I honestly STILL don’t know how to feel…nor do I know how to talk about it without spoiling it for you. Ok I really need to stop now but don’t take my word for it; have a read for yourself and let me know what you think (/feel – so I can copy you).
(Side note – I actually went to see the film this weekend too and while I thought it was really well-executed – (visually on-point, perfectly cast, great pacing and direction), it was difficult to watch without constantly comparing it to the novel. To the point where it was distracting. If you haven’t seen the movie and also want to read the book, I would give yourself some time between the experiences to be able to truly appreciate both.)