I couldn’t — didn’t want to — put down Gone Girl. I read it in three or four sittings over two days. It’s the kind of story that you really don’t want to know too much about before you read it, so trust me and avoid reading too much about it if it interests you. This review will give you a feel for what I loved about this book without giving away too much information.
Nick arrives home to find that his wife Amy has disappeared. There are signs of a struggle, and it looks as if she left in a hurry — the iron is plugged in and the dress she planned to wear for their 5-year-anniversary celebration that evening is on the ironing board.
The story is told in alternating segments from Nick and Amy’s point of view. Nick’s entries are in present day, and with Amy’s journal entries we get a glimpse of their life together in the years before she was “gone.”
We know Nick is hiding something, but we don’t know what. He indicates in his narrative to us, the reader, when he lies to the police, but we also don’t get the sense that he knows anything about Amy’s disappearance.
At first Amy’s parents and the police seem to be behind Nick, but things are revealed that change that tide. As the reader, we still don’t know what the true story is and who is behind what.
About halfway through the novel even more changes (about which I won’t reveal any plotpoints, nor do I think that anyone should). I doubted everything that I had come to believe, and my loyalties flip-flopped. Some may call this sort of writing manipulative, but sort of like The Sixth Sense, when the twist is revealed, it does match the rest of the narrative to this point, even if it blindsides you.
There is some very strong language in this novel, and some general weirdness (in line with the kind of plots contained in psychological thriller/forensic mysteries on TV and in books). But I thought the story and the way it was told was incredibly original and absolutely riveting. The lack of a perfect ending added to the overall unsettling feeling that the last 1/3 of the book gave me, but I think this added to the overall punch of Gone Girl.
Highly recommended for those who want to get lost in a story (with the reservations listed above).
This book reminded me of Lisa Tucker’s novels:
Jennifer Donovan is thankful for her SAHM-life, an unscheduled summer, and children that entertain themselves that gave her the opportunity to devote hours to the voracious pursuit of what was really happening in this novel. Reading ultra-suspenseful novels are yet another thing that keeps her from blogging at Snapshot.