Gone Girl, a novel, by Gillian Flynn


Both Nick and Amy are talking directly to us, the readers, in Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl”. We first meet them both at a party where they are first drawn to each other. We jump ahead 8 months and they meet again, finish falling in love and get married. They seem like the perfect couple living in their brownstone, Brooklyn Heights home. Nick loses his job and they move back to North Carthage Missouri. Amy hates leaving New York.

Both characters are interesting but as the story proceeds neither really believe that they are living happily ever after. To celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary Amy got up and started making crepes and then Nick came into the kitchen, happy about the crepes, wondering why Amy was humming the theme song from “M*A*S*H.” (“suicide is painless”).

This novel is really a modern-day version of the old movie, War of Roses, the 1989 movie where Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner played the parts of the doomed Roses. It is hard to tell whether both Amy and Nick are doomed as the plot takes sudden turns and we are left wondering which of the conflicting stories is true. It is obvious they are skilled at lying to each other and we wonder if they are lying to us.

Amy’s parents are successful writers of a book about a wonderful girl named Amazing Amy. Modern Day Amy seems to be writing her own life’s book as she goes through each day filled with odd details.

Nick borrowed the last of Amy’s money to buy a bar for himself and his twin sister, but Nick also has his own secret life that doesn’t involve Amy.  

Flynn’s skill in creating the plot of this novel is clear as we turn the pages, surprised from the beginning to the end and subject to sudden and unpredictable changes of mood and mind. The characters are ones we don’t want to let go of but many may be glad to let go of this couple in the end.


“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.” 

“There's a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.” 

“Love makes you want to be a better man—right, right. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.” 

“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.”