When Amy meets Nick, it’s love at first sight. Something out of a movie. Magical. And, maybe, deadly.
Kansas City native Gillian Flynn crafts the oddest, most uncomfortable love story in her third book, Gone Girl. The novel opens with Nick, unhappy and alone, thinking about his wife’s head. Or, more specifically, the shape of her skull, the shape of her brain, and how he would open it to look at her thoughts inside. After he manages to quit thinking about her head, he lugs himself out of bed, goes to a bar that he owns and when he returns home late that afternoon Amy is nowhere to be found.
Nick’s search for his wife and the local cops’ growing suspicion against him is highlighted against Amy’s diary entries, which indicate that although she loves her husband, she is also terrified of him. These entries make Amy’s family, the cops and the town all feel pretty certain that Nick has something to do with her disappearance, that perhaps he killed her. After all, Amy left a beautifully wrapped present for Nick to commemorate their fifth wedding anniversary, while Nick didn’t even manage to make a dinner reservation.
That wrapped present sets in motion a scavenger hunt – something Amy does every year for their anniversary. As Nick reaches the end of the hunt, he finds a chilling secret hidden away in a forgotten shed and realizes that he may not have known his wife at all.
It’s impossible to explain the plot of the book any further without ruining some excellent twists. Each time I thought I had the plot figured out – is Amy alive? Dead? Where is she? And why? – my theory was dashed with the turn of a page.
Flynn bypasses the age-old battle of good vs. evil and instead asks the reader to examine relationships between families and loved ones. Her writing is so spot on in this novel that I could not put this book down and finished it in two days flat. Flynn’s writing also forced me to examine how far I thought people would go to hurt one another. Whenever her characters do something heinous to one another, it completely shocked me, and I thought that it would go no further. But it does, and then it keeps going.
If you’re looking for a quick, dark read then I highly recommend this novel. Just be prepared to look twice at the love of your life after you’re through.
About the Author
Elena McVicar is the Youth Services Librarian at the L.H. Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. When she's not at the library or catching up on her reading, she can be found playing with her dog, making cookies or watching way too much TV.