So, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is one of those books that everyone was reading at the same time last year, and, as I always seem to do, I postponed my read so as not to get caught up in it all. I have absolutely no idea why I do this but it has become a habit and I suspect I’m not going to change anytime soon.
I have read Gillian (a bit over-familiar, sorry) before, Sharp Objects which I reviewed here, and enjoyed it enough to buy (but not yet read, her second novel, Dark Places, and I do have a tendency to read things in order, but I jumped into Gone Girl because I became curious and ended up finishing it in a massive single sitting when I wasn’t very well just before Easter. And I can recommend it as a book to take your mind off illness because it is totally compelling and I really, really wanted to know how it was going to work out.
This is the story of Nick and Amy, a golden couple whose life changes when they have to move away from New York to Nick’s hometown when they both lose their jobs. One day Amy disappears; there are signs of a struggle and Nick is distressed but there is something not quite right, and we follow the investigation into her disappearance from Nick’s point of view, alternating with entries from Amy’s diary from the point at which she first meets her husband.
I loved this. I thought I knew where the story was going, and then a thing happened that both reinforced my theory and undermined it entirely, and then another thing happened which I didn’t see coming at all.
As well as a fabulous psychological thriller it’s also a compelling portrait of a marriage and reminds us all that you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s head.
Gillian has been accused of misogyny amongst other things; if you want to know what her reaction is to that then do read this interview with her in The Guardian.
If you are one of the three people in the world who hasn’t read this yet then I can’t recommend it too highly.