I find it difficult to review this book without giving the whole thing away. Any spoilers would ruin this brilliantly crafted novel by literary “It Girl” Gillian Flynn. So let me say instead that Flynn has forced me to completely re-examine my belief that I’m not a fan of thrillers.
What starts out as a straightforward premise – woman goes missing on her 5th wedding anniversary; husband is primary suspect – twists and turns in so many directions that I was left guessing, often. The author’s decision to move both forward and backward in time through diary entries and the current investigation, constantly switching perspectives, serve to keep readers on our toes.
Flynn investigates the bonds of marriage, obsession and identity in the modern world. She uses language to expertly pull her characters apart and put them back together.
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 amount of characters.”
The primary characters are both out-of-work writers, which, again, compounds the mystery of who they really are. Flynn evokes just enough of my sympathy to keep them from being completely unlikable, but still does not pull any punches when it comes to their faults. So in the end, I found them both painfully real.
Writers (my kind of writers: aspiring novelists, ruminative thinkers, people whose brains don’t work quick enough to blog or link or tweet, basically old stubborn blowhards) were through. We were like women’s hat makers or buggy-whip manufacturers: Our time was done.”
Again, without spoiling anything, I will say that I found the ending spot-on perfection. It was as sick and twisted as the rest of the novel.
Gone Girl is such a satisfying thrill. I will certainly seek out more work by Gillian Flynn.