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Book Review

‘Gone Girl’

2/20/2013

BookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Sally Wisdom

Crown

June 5, 2012

$25

HIV

432 pp.

As she handed me “Gone Girl,” my friend smiled wickedly, said “this is deeply disturbing,” and warned me not to plan to get anything else done once I started reading it.

Nick and Amy meet in 2005. Nick, the handsome, golden boy of North Carthage, Mo., writes for a Manhattan entertainment magazine. Amy, a beautiful New Yorker and the inspiration for her psychologist parents’ highly successful “Amazing Amy” series of children’s books, writes clever quizzes for women’s magazines. They marry in 2007and begin a blissful existence in their Brooklyn brownstone.

Their charmed life begins to disintegrate when their jobs fall victim to the Internet and economic downturn. When his mother develops cancer and his father Alzheimer’s disease, Nick’s twin sister begs him to return to Missouri. Depressed over the turn his life has taken, Nick convinces Amy to move and loan him most of the remainder of her depleted trust fund so he can open a bar with his sister.

On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy mysteriously disappears. Of course the husband is always the logical suspect, and Nick is no exception. Sure, Amy is a perfectionist and her obsessiveness seems to drive him crazy but that crazy? It doesn’t seem possible until incriminating secrets are gradually revealed. From her diary entries, Amy seems lovely, fun, grounded until… she doesn’t. The story unfolds in alternating recollections between Nick and Amy that keep the reader guessing and unsettled. Gillian Flynn writes convincingly in each voice.

The book’s conclusion can only be described as “deeply disturbing,” and my friend’s admonition is appropriate. Clear the decks, because you won’t be able to put it down. CV

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