Within the beginning of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn pens a tale of a comfortable suburban life between Nick and Amy Dunne. Nick, a former journalist and Amy, a former magazine writer both lose their respective jobs, and move to a small town in Missouri to take care of Nick’s sick mother.
At the very beginning, I felt like this novel was another generic and shallow examination of American suburbanites trying to make their way through life and its difficulties. But boy was I wrong. Flynn destroys any idea of a typical American surburban lifestyle, and on the 5th year anniversary of her marriage to Nick, she disappears.
During the course of the novel the readers discover the dark secrets behind Nick and Amy’s tenuous union. We learn that due to Nick’s indiscretions, Amy has vacated the premises. However, the case does not go unnoticed. Not only do the local law enforcement services, but the American media turn an eye towards the case of the missing ‘Amazing Amy.’
Flynn’s novel is a war of two narratives: first the readers gain the viewpoint of Nick, as he outlines his search for Amy, the readers find themselves identifying with his perspective; the hope that Amy will be found safe and unharmed laying in the hearts of the readers and the American spectators. But later on in the narrative we’re provided with Amy’s account via her diary – documenting the earlier stages of her relationship with Nick. It is only then the doubt begins to creep in, destroying the idyllic image of a peaceful and stable relationship.
Both characters are seen to be unreliable in their testimonies: Nick ultimately cheats on Amy with one of his college students, and the diary that Amy pens is ultimately fake. Within the novel we experience the wild chase to find Amy, and the truth, from both characters.
Gillian Flynn creates, a witty, dark, and masterful novel exploring the fundamental dark side of relationships, and how appearances ultimately nothing if not malleable. With Amy’s chilling manipulations and Nick’s flagrant actions, Flynn creates one of the most chilling modern thrillers I’ve read in a very long time.