On my first night in my New York apartment, I decided to explore my new neighborhood. There was no Wi-Fi in my apartment yet, so instead of watching YouTube videos on my iPhone and constantly refreshing my Facebook feed, I stumbled into the 59th Street Barnes & Noble to find a good book. Gone Girl was a book I’d always heard constant praise about but never actually read, so I grabbed it from the shelf, purchased it, and left the store.
After returning home, I dove into the book and was immediately hooked. For those who haven’t heard of the novel, it was published in late 2012 and has been on The New York Times Bestseller List ever since. The story is centered on a young couple, Nick and Amy, who meet and fall in love in New York City and eventually re-locate to Missouri, Nick’s hometown, because both of them have lost their jobs in the city. After somewhat falling out of love with one another, Amy goes missing and chaos ensues as the blame is placed on Nick. At this point in the story, I couldn’t put the book down. I have always loved a good mystery, and have spent my summers and free time studying criminal trials (I may or may not have been a lawyer in another life). I was so obsessed with finding out what happened that I started bringing the book to work and reading during my lunch hour. I was hooked. My thoughts consisted of, “What happened to Amy? Nick doesn’t seem so evil. But they were falling out of love. And he has a mistress, OMG. Yeah, he definitely knows where she is. Wait, does he though?”
I finally hit the point in the book where I found out where Amy was, how she got there, and that she is not, in fact, dead. She’s alive and well, has planned her disappearance for a year, and is essentially framing her husband for a murder he didn’t commit. This is where I began to get angry. My thoughts quickly shifted to, “Seriously? This gives women a bad name. What a psychopath. Why didn’t she just divorce him? Who does that to someone they’ve married? He wasn’t really that bad!” Although I was angry, I was still hooked. I wanted to know what was going to happen, and if Nick was going to take the fall for his wife’s “murder.”
My spoilers stop there – I will let you read the ending! I also have very mixed feelings about the conclusion of the book. It just reinforces that people are truly crazy, and you can sometimes never see a person’s actions coming. Either way, I’ll be at the midnight showing of Gone Girl on October 3rd, because even though the novel took me on an emotional rollercoaster, it made me feel, experience, and relate. Only the best stories can do that – bravo to you Gillian Flynn.