Nick and Amy Dunne were both writers living in New York City, when the economy cost both of them their jobs, and then the couple moved back to Nick's hometown of North Carthage, Missouri, to help care for his dying mother. A born and bred New Yorker, she has to leave her parents, happily married psychologists who created a famous children's book series about Amy called Amazing Amy. The transition is tough for Amy, who doesn't find a job and finds it difficult to make friends, but she is supportive of Nick's buying a bar with his twin sister, Margo (aka "Go"). And even though their marriage hits occasional rough patches, they are making plans to celebrate their fifth anniversary.
That afternoon, Amy disappears, and their home bears signs of a dangerous struggle. Nick cannot figure out what happened to his wife, although his interactions with the police and the media lead people to begin questioning his innocence. And Amy's diary paints an interesting picture of an increasingly difficult relationship. But as the clues mount and the surprises continue to be revealed, there is so much more to this relationshipand Amy's disappearancethan meets the eye. (And that's all I'll say for fear of revealing any crucial plot elements.)
Gone Girl has been nearly universally hailed as a fantastic book, the one sure to launch Gillian Flynn's career into the stratosphere. (Her second novel, Sharp Objects was a best-seller.) I enjoyed this, but not nearly as much as others have. I flew through the first 200 pages and I had no idea what to expect, and then when the plot twists began to unfold, I found it more and more difficult to remain invested. It's a challenge to love a book in which many of the characters are so unsympathetic, but Flynn really is a terrific writer. (If you've never read her earlier books, Dark Places and Sharp Objects, they're both unmistakably creepy and well-written.)