I am hungover. . . from reading.
I flew home this past weekend for a Sacrament filled weekend (a wedding and a baptism) and between two delayed flights and one restful morning I was able to read Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. My head almost hurts just thinking about all the crazy contained within its' pages.
Don't mistake my headache for dislike. Flynn writes like wizard - the story is masterfully executed, but emotionally painful to read. Gone Girl begins with the disappearance of Amy Dunne, wife of Nick Dunne, on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. At first it seems Amy is the victim of kidnapping, but as the story unwinds, Nick is pegged as a suspect. It's easy to see from the beginning their marriage is far from perfect, a fact neither seems to have addressed with the other. When I discovered what really happened about three quarters of the way through the novel I was left breathless, rushing to finish the last part so I could pick apart the ending (which then left me really breathless).
The disintegration of Nick and Amy's marriage is both realistic and unbelievable. While it's easy to see how the cracks became ditches which became canyons across which they could not reach, the manner in which they both handle the divide is appalling. At times I found it hard to believe two people could be so deceitful and manipulative, and it's a testament to Flynn's writing that Nick and Amy remain sympathetic and somewhat likable throughout. The truly hard part to swallow is their lack of communication - it literally made me fear for my own young marriage (but then I remembered neither of us are psychos and I breathed a sigh of relief). The issues and struggles Amy and Nick face - both personally and financially- are no joke and the idealist in me has to believe better communication could help. I'm thinking if a book can actually strike fear in to you, then damn, it must be good.
This is a book I certainly struggle to describe without revealing large parts of the plot. If you're a fan of thrillers I highly recommend it - and please let me know if anyone out there has read it so I can have a discussion! I'd compare it to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. It's not thematically similar, but the complicated, morally ambiguous plot will leave you rushing through to discover the ending.