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Do we ever really know?
on February 10, 2013
I don't know how many times I've remarked to others that, given the unsolved murders vegetating in folders by the tens of thousands in cold case file storage rooms all over the country, you just never know who your neighbors and acquaintances really are; what they've done in the past, or are possibly doing now. Maybe even those you think you know...you really don't.
Gone Girl is that remark come to life in modern society. The book is eminently readable from the first sentence. The two protagonists are husband and wife, Nick and Amy, each telling their story firsthand. Amy's, at first, is through a diary. Nick's is simple first person narration. They meet and fall in love, begin a storybook life in New York, then both lose their jobs and Amy's sizable trust fund disappears. After a move to Missouri, to Nick's hometown, Amy's New York persona seems to have adapted fairly easily to life in a small midwest town. But Nick is such a jerk to her! She's trying so hard and he doesn't appreciate it.
Nick, on the other hand, when it's his turn to talk, seems likable enough; if not a bit on the selfish side, and when you're in his POV, Amy seems a bit too prickly and thin-skinned. I went back and forth, feeling they both needed to grow up, compromise, sit down and talk out their feelings.
Not far into the story, Amy disappears. As with any suspicious disappearance, Nick becomes Suspect #1. With his twin sister as his staunchest ally, Nick fights to prove his innocence. However, Amy's diary is troubling in its depictions of Nick's behavior, especially in recent months.
(Note: Gillian Flynn's peripheral characters are recognizable and reflective of our society, especially where "true crime" is concerned. The Nancy Grace character, the media in general, the tabloids, the high-profile attorney, the search parties - all gave the book a very "right now in history" feeling.)
Then came part two of the book. It's a shocker. Let's just say - Scott Peterson has met his match.
I feel that at about the 3/4 point in the book the story got a little too fantastical, but it didn't ruin it for me.
I know the ending isn't popular with many reviewers. I hated it...but not in a "bad review" kind of way. Because as I thought about it more, I had to go back to what I said in the first sentence...you never really know...