Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was published in 2013 and has been on the reservation list in the library for most of that time, so when it temporarily became available I borrowed it. The screening of the film has renewed interest in the book and the reservation list for this title has once again grown.

The plot is relatively simple. Nick comes home to find his wife, Amy, missing and the police consider Nick as the main suspect. However as the story unfolds the many twists and turns keep the reader guessing as to the outcome. The story is told in alternate chapters by Nick and Amy. The story is also revealed by the two main characters in different time-frames. In part one Nick's account begins from the day Amy disappears while Amy's account is told in segments from her diary dating back to when she and Nick first met. Later in the book the accounts run parallel to each other. We learn what is happening therefore entirely from the viewpoint of Nick and Amy. There are other characters but we only know of them when Nick or Amy refer to them.

The book is therefore largely about relationships. How well does one really know another person? It looks at the progression of a marriage over time and how well the husband and wife really understand the feelings of their partner. Amy's disappearance is investigated as a crime and and there is some suspense as different characters become suspects. However we do not really get to know the supporting characters apart from comments made about them by Nick or Amy. What we learn about Nick and Amy is also discovered by piecing together their stories and as the book progresses it is difficult to separate the fact from fiction.

I did not really like any of the characters in the book - Nick and Amy are definitely not likeable characters - and this made it difficult for me to really feel involvement with their story. However the device of alternating the two voices was good and some of the twists in the plot worked well. Generally I thought that the book was too long and it was really only determination that made me finish reading the book rather than a desire to find out what happened.

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