SEPTEMBER READING: GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
Oh my goodness, after reading this I guarantee you will look at your own relationship in a new and different light, and look ever so slightly sideways at the relationships of your friends, families and neighbours. Yes, I know, it is fiction, made up and all that, but this is very spooky, with enough razor sharp twists to put you into hospital for abdominal surgery just to unravel it all. Rest assured though, that our main characters, Nick and Amy Dunne, are not normal. Behind the facade of loving, devoted, perfectly suited (or are they) and fully functional married couple, lies a narcissist, a sociopath, possibly a border line schizophrenic, and any combination of the aforementioned. And how do we know that the person we bond so lovingly with is not also of similar tendencies? This novel is all about that - the side of ourselves, real or otherwise, that we present to our spouse, our family and our friends. And ultimately to ourselves.
On the morning of Nick and Amy's 5th wedding anniversary, she simply disappears, apparently kidnapped from her home while Nick is at work. The couple have been living in Nick's home town somewhere in Missouri, having moved there (Amy reluctantly and Nick resignedly) after job losses in New York following the recent global financial crisis. She does not have a job, and with his twin sister, he is struggling to run a local bar. Things are tough for them financially and the stresses, unsurprisingly spill over into their marriage.
Suspicion over Amy's disappearance naturally falls on Nick. The story is narrated in alternate chapters by Nick in the present, and by way of Amy's yet to be found diary. But which is the truth? Despite his claims of innocence, Nick seems to show very little distress or concern for Amy's whereabouts, and if he is innocent, then where is she? It is a very tangled web, and I really can't say anymore about what happens because the twists and turns are what keeps you going when reading this. You simply have no idea at all where you are going to be taken next, or what surprise the next chapter will reveal.
It is very clever, very well done, and almost 500 pages of compulsive reading. Riveting. The twists keep coming, right up to the last page. I want to say more, but I can't, you will just have to read it! All I can say is ...marriage - be afraid, be very afraid. And with 15,000 odd reviews on Amazon, you know this book has left some big impressions.