VERY, VERY CLEVER!
Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war…
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has introduced me to an author I find inspirational and whose skill in the craft of storytelling is awe inspiring. At every turn of the page I was pulled into the world of her multi-layered characters and given a room by room tour of the spaces inside their heads. I am a huge fan of character based fiction and for that reason Gone Girl was a great read for me.
The situation within the novel, and the thing that is Amy and Nick’s relationship, which itself becomes something of a character within the story, is rather relatable. It appeals to that ever present question tumbling around inside the minds of anyone in a serious relationship, “What is going on inside this persons head?” Flynn deftly manipulates and conquers this simple question into an epic adventure through this fictional liaison. I certainly won’t get into the plot at all; I will only say I found it very engaging.
The standout character is definitely Amy. Flynn has eloquently captured the essence of her lead female character’s internal monologue, the way her thoughts are processed, feelings dissected and important pieces of information filed away for use at a poignant time in the future. Flynn, in an often too close for comfort manner, illustrates the pivotal difference between the internal processing of the female mind verses its male counterpart.
While there are several very clever elements within this piece of fiction, there are a couple that stood out to me which I can discuss without revealing the plot. As I mentioned above Flynn presents an interesting image of the male vs. female take on the same relationship. What I found interesting was the way Flynn uses her secondary female characters. While each of them are well crafted and serve their purposes in the chain of events, none of them shine quite as bright as Amy, which is a great tool for accentuating the bold aspects of her character.
I also appreciated the writing about writing elements within the story. Amy’s diary is very effective as a plot device and was worked into the story in a very crafty way. The fact that the character of Amy in Gone Girl is actually the inspiration for the character of Amazing Amy, a heroine of a collection of children’s books within the novel, is another indication of Flynn’s ingenious fiction writing.
This is a smart and wily story with several surprises and exquisitely imagined characters. I truly had a lot of fun reading Gone Girl and several times throughout felt like I was listening in on a great piece of juicy gossip! So for all you Book Gossips out there – this is a must read!