THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
This is the first Gillian Flynn novel I read. I knew a movie had been made of this book and I did not watch it, I read the book first.
Thoughts about the writing:
Overall, this novel was a fun read. It began slow and it took a while to grab my interest but once it had me, I had to keep going.
Though slow, the beginning of the novel is powerful and it presents a great hook. As it advances towards the incident that propels everything the tension just grows and grows. Towards the midpoint of the story, you finally realize what’s going on. The events afterwards go really quick and it was towards the end that it became a bit unrealistic, for me. The story ending was a bit of a shock and you either love it or hate it. I did not love it but it goes well with the storyline and the tone of the book.
I think this author is a great storyteller. She’s very clever, and she developed an interesting plot but even better, she developed really well-constructed characters. What I enjoyed the most is the author’s craftiness in taking the reader on a wild ride with unexpected plot twists.
This novel is a great example to read for clearly seeing goals, motivations and conflicts in characters.
She slowly unveils her characters, and they have clear, distinctive voices. There is not a big cast, which I also liked because as it is the main characters are very complex on their own. Both characters have dark, selfish motivations for doing the things they do. It truly shows how far people can and are willing to go to obtain what they want. Reading these characters felt like sitting and having a conversation with them over a coffee which I really liked.
The story is narrated from two points of view which makes you invest in each character’s perspective of what happened to understand what is going on in the present of the story.
I found Flynn’s writing style crisp and to the point. She’s very precise, even crude, I would say, with her description of the kind of things we all see or think of life or other people, but would never say out loud.
It was an interesting read.
A word of Caution:
One aspect I did not enjoy while reading the story is the abundance of cursing and foul language. I understand these two things are a common thing in people’s speech and it’s even become normalized in daily life. Unfortunately, the same happens in the written word. Sadly, this book is no exception. In my opinion, cursing and foul language don’t build up a story and don’t need to be there to make it better. To those who are approaching the book looking for a rush of thrill and to enjoy a good mystery, they will definitely find it in this novel.
This story will not build you up in any way though. You will actually find yourself reading a raw representation of human nature at its worst, or best (depending on how you see it.)