Monday, August 27, 2012
Genre: Psychological Thriller.
Publisher: Crown Publishing.
Source: Received at BEA 2012.
Favorite character: Amy.
All in all: Outstanding!
Synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? ~Goodreads.com
I was *very* excited to read Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl after loving her previous two books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I was a little surprised at the difference in terms of style and story, but not surprised at the way that Flynn weaves an insightful psychological thriller. Is she a writer or a pscyhologist? Is she a psychologist or a mind reader -- delving into people's innermost thoughts and extracting them for analyzation?
The pages flew by as I read about Nick and Amy, their romance and their marriage as they tell their stories. They are fascinating, FASCINATING, complex characters. They are reflective and deep and this is shown in their thoughts and behavior.
The story at times mirrors the Scott and Laci Peterson saga, with a missing wife and a suspect yet charming husband. I love how Flynn puts a magnifying glass up to the media and to the public. One small misstep, one wrong word can be construed as proof of guilt.
I kept guessing and second guessing and then guessing some more as I delved deeper into the couple’s marriage, their memories, their opinions. I wondered if I could rely on any of the narrations, on anything that was presented to me. I worried about Nick and if he would go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Because he couldn’t have murdered his wife, could he? If so, then how and why? What led up to it? If not, then what happened to her? Who in Nick and Amy’s life could have wanted to cause her harm? I worried about Amy. Was she dead? When would we find out? These questions had me turning pages late into the night.
Part of me was frustrated with the ending, but I also feel that it was an interesting and logical way to end.
What is behind their marriage, their troubles, their motivations is intriguing. It’s a sad, spellbinding tale of wanting to feel loved, of revealing yourself, of psychopathy. Open it up and dive in.
***SPOILER ALERT: Holy Crap! So Amy is a crazy and very dangerous lady. Nick is a bit crazy for staying with her as well. He actually admires her and it is clear she has ruined him for anyone else. No other woman would live up to Amy...true, because not many women out there are as crazy as she is! Not exactly a "happy" ending, except that Nick did not go to jail. However, could either of them ever be truly happy again?
Have you ever met anyone like Amy? Someone that just has to "win." At times I felt sorry for her because as she revealed her true self, Nick connected less and less.
Here are a few alternate endings that I've imagined.
1. Amy comes home. Nick exposes her and manages to get her past "victims" to testify. She is shunned from society and arrested. She's the one that ends up going to jail.
2. Amy comes home. Nick exposes her and kills her and he goes to jail for really killing her this time.
3. Amy comes home. Nick kills Amy and makes it look like suicide. He then exposes her and the truth comes out. Although a few people may suspect Nick, the majority of society thinks she killed herself because she was unhappy. :END SPOILER ALERT***