Gone Girl: A Review

gone girl imageThe third book chosen in the Three Ladies and Their Babies book club was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This was a selection full of twists and turns that left the reader wondering if and when the characters of the book were ever going to get back to “normal.”

Gone Girl is a suspense novel written from the alternating points of view of Nick Dunn and his wife, Amy. In the beginning, the reader is introduced to Amy through her diary entries. She is an interesting New Yorker who is full of life and waiting for love when Nick walks into her life. When they finally get reconnected after losing touch, they end up marrying. For a while, the marriage works, but before long, trouble creeps in. Amy seems to be a very accepting and forgiving wife, often sacrificing her own wants and needs to those of her husband. Nick, on the other hand, seems completely self-absorbed and uncaring of his wife’s needs as he drags her off to his Midwest hometown to care for his ailing parents. Then, on their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears, leaving behind signs of a struggle. As Nick becomes the focus of police scrutiny and is hanged in the court of public opinion, we start to learn a little more about their marriage and Amy’s true personality comes to life. Is Amy really the victim of a violent abduction and possible murder at the hands of her husband or is something more going on here? Nick does not help his case much as he tells the reader of his bitterness toward his wife, discusses the shape of her skull, and blunders his way through interviews and interrogations. As the story unfolds and more details come to light, you’ll be kept on your toes trying to figure out where things are going.

I found this book to be very engaging. It did take a few chapters before I really got into it, but by part two, I was hooked. I had a hard time putting it down and found myself trying to sneak in a few pages anytime I had an extra minute or two. I really enjoyed it…until the last few pages. Without ruining it for you, I have to say that I did not like the ending. There were a couple of ways that I could have re-written it in my head. That being said, I’m a big fan of happy endings, and Flynn, herself, is quoted as saying, “I wrote the ending that was the most unsettling to me. I am a big fan of the ending of unease. To me it feels real and it feels unnerving. Because you may not know exactly what is going to happen next in Gone Girl World, but you know it’s not good.”

Overall, I found Gone Girl to be a very quick and intriguing read. It kept me double guessing myself and anxious to see what would happen next. I would give it a solid B, with points knocked off due to the ending, but it is most definitely a great summer book.

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Book Club: Books 1, 2, & 3 Selections

The two day voting window for the first three book polls at Facebook are officially closed and I am pleased to announce our first three book selections. I will introduce them now with a description of each book as found on Goodreads.

Book One (April 16 – April 30, discussion at Facebook on May 1st): Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

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The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby’s life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if—as Sibyl’s assistant later charges—the patient wasn’t already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?

As recounted by Sibyl’s precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives—and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.

Book Two (May 2 – May 16, discussion at Facebook on May 17th): She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

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In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.

Meet Dolores Price. She’s 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she’s determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.

Book Three (May 20 – June 3, discussion at Facebook on June 4th): Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

We’re all very excited to start reading the first book and hope you are as well. Enjoy!