“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”
This is going to be a first for me - this post will include spoilers. There is going to be a section below, with a warning above it, that has spoilers. You have to highlight it to read them, so you can't spoil yourself unless you choose to. I just can't talk about this book completely without discussing things that will ruin it for a person that hasn't read it. The rest of this review will be spoiler free and safe.
I waited on a list for Gone Girl for quite some time, and I was thrilled when my library finally sent me that happy little email that a copy was waiting for me to download. My friends had been talking about it for months, and now casting rumors are going around for the movie. I needed to read something this talked about and know what was so shocking and fascinating about it. I was not disappointed. Well...at least in general.
Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, two NYC transplants living in Carthage, Missouri. They move out two years before the start of the action in this story to care for Nick's mother, and because both have lost their jobs. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick doesn't react the way he's expected to, and a suspicious pallor is cast over him. Could this man have killed Amazing Amy, inspiration for the beloved children's book series? Isn't the husband always guilty? Nick defends his innocence as the police keep discovering new twists in the case, and we're given Amy's diary entries to fill in some of their history. Is Nick to blame, and if not, then where the hell is Amy?
The writing in this is absolutely brilliant. It's the type of prose you enjoy like a good meal - it leaves you feeling satisfied as you read it. Amy and Nick are VERY well developed characters, and even the people on their periphery, like Nick's twin Margo, and Amy's parents, get some good development. This is a twisty, turny book, and there are a lot of questions to answer as you go. Flynn does a lovely job with red herrings and MacGuffins. It was a book, as a whole, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I tore through it in a couple of days.
That being said, SPOILER ARE AHEAD. Seriously. If you don't want to know what happens, DO NOT highlight this text. I will completely ruin the book for you here if you haven't read it; I just have to voice this stuff or I will go crazy.
The end of this book was the biggest pile of bullshit I've seen in a long time. I can't even say it's the "wrong" way to end the book, exactly. It's an ending. It's a choice. But holy sweet Mother of Pearl is it unsatisfying for them to end up together like nothing happened. AMY IS A SOCIOPATH. SHE IS A MURDERER. This crazy chick doesn't have ANY GODDAMN CONSEQUENCES. She gets away with EVERYTHING! I was so mad I almost punched something (I was on a commuter train at the time, so I refrained). Look, I was not surprised that she was crazy, though maybe a bit at just *how* crazy. I was not surprised that she set him up - I figured that was the case, though I didn't figure out that the diary was a fake till later in the game. But I FUCKING WELL DID NOT EXPECT HER TO GET AWAY WITH IT. WTF?? Oh, and even better, now they can raise a super psycho child together. Cause that will end well. Y'know, until Nick steps out of line the tiniest bit, or the baby pisses Amy off because she can't control it, and she murders them both and disappears to Tahiti to live a life of luxury alone. WORST. ENDING.
And thus you are now safe from spoilers.
While the book's conclusion was not what I wanted from it, the book as a whole is brilliantly written, and I highly recommend it. It's the best thriller/mystery that I've come across in a long time.