Book Review: Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’

An astute and thought-provoking look into a marriage of two complex personalities—who don't bring out the best in each other.

I tend to be wary of books that everyone’s talking about. Too often, all that buzz ends in disappointment for me—the book is good, but not that good. But happily, this was not the case with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which met with widespread acclaim when it was published. It’s a uniquely plotted thriller that kept me reading—and guessing—way past my bedtime after I finally relented and cracked its spine recently.

The book is structured in alternating chapters that shift perspectives between the two main characters. Magazine writer Nick Dunne is living in Manhattan when he meets Amy Elliot at a party. Amy’s mind is always working, and Nick is fascinated because he can never quite figure out what she’s thinking. They get married, and though the union has a fairytale beginning, it quickly disintegrates when times get tough. And on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears amid a violent scene that has the police eyeing Nick with suspicion.

More than just a crime novel, Gone Girl is an astute and thought-provoking look into two complex personalities who don’t bring out the best in each other. Don’t miss this masterful psychological thriller that lives up to its hype.

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Amy Reilly
Amy Reilly is executive editor of Reader’s Digest Select Editions.