Author: Gillian Flynn
Published: Originally published 2012, republished April 2014
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
Nick and Amy Dunne are past the honeymoon stage of their marriage. They’ve both lost their beloved writing jobs in NYC, Amy’s trust fund money is dwindling and Nick’s parents are both ill. Due to their job losses, money troubles, and the state of Nick’s parents health, Amy and Nick move to Nick’s hometown of North Carthage Missouri so that Nick can help his twin sister care for his parents. While the move seems logical on paper, it only brings Amy and Nicks relationship issues to the surface. Amy reluctantly lets Nick use the last of their savings to open a bar, but is stuck playing housewife in a place that she can’t stand. Fast forward a couple of years, and we find that not much has changed. Both Amy and Nick unhappy, stressed and feeling less and less like themselves every day.
When Amy goes missing from their home (with signs of a possible struggle) on the morning of their 5th wedding anniversary, Nick is suddenly in the spotlight. He isn’t forthcoming to the police about where he was the morning of the disappearance, and he has enough damning secrets to keep the investigation focused on him. He is also reserved and calm in a way that does anything but scream mourning terrified husband.
As the story shifts from Nick’s point of view to Amy’s (via her journal, which chronicles the past five years of their relationship), we learn that the couple have very different views on their relationship. In Amy’s journal, we see the beginning of their storybook style romance and are lead up to the months just before she went missing. The time gap tells of a drastically deteriorating relationship, lending more and more to the idea that Nick may be nothing like the charming and caring husband he wants to portray. From Nick, we learn that he is terribly flawed, but we find that Amy may be just as withholding as her husband.
Gone Girl reminds us that in any story there are three sides—his side, her side and the truth. As this horrible situation unravels, we see that even the darkest most callous and inhuman minds can show a softer side. Everyone, no matter how monstrous their actions may be, have some relatable quality. They were not born to be what they have become. They are human too.
Gone Girl was recently adapted into a major motion picture with Ben Affleck starring as Nick Dunne. Gillian Flynn’s other two novels, Dark Places and Sharp Objects can be found at your favorite book retailer.