Retrospective Wednesday is a meme designed to give bloggers a chance to go back and highlight a book published in previous years and readers a chance to pick up a book that may be off the radar but is certainly worth the read.
Today's highlighted book, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, does not require much of a look back since it was just published last year. It also was a wildly popular book having spent at least eight weeks as #1 on the NYT bestselling books.
Gone Girl is a psychological mystery. The book begins on the fifth wedding anniversary of Nick and Amy. He gets up to find her in the kitchen making crepes humming the theme song to M*A*S*H*, Suicide is Painless. That should have been our clue that something creepy and sinister was just about to happen. Nick and Amy are both out-of-work writers and have a very difficult and unhappy marriage. They have moved to Missouri, Nick's hometown, from New York City. Neither are happy as we find out as the story unfolds. When Amy goes missing later that day and it looks like it could be murder, Nick is the prime suspect. We find out bits and pieces about our characters through alternating chapters told in their voices or through diary entries. Both Nick and Amy are good liars. They not only lie to each other and to the police, they also lie to us. If ever there was a book with unreliable narrators it is this one. We are trapped, right along with the characters, in all the deceptions and lies right up to the very end of the story. It made me think of the line from the poem:
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter ScottWe are reading Gone Girl as a book club selection for next month. One of the gals in the club read it early and announced that she hated the book, which of course had a chilling effect on my wanting to even start it. My husband and I listened to the audiobook version read by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne during our latest road trip to the Canadian Rockies and back. It was actually a very fun book to listen to with another person. Every evening we would discuss what we thought would happen next and speculate about the plot. As bits and pieces of the story were revealed we'd moan or laugh depending on what we thought ahead of time. I liked Gone Girl for that very reason. I never really had it figured out. It kept me interested and guessing to the end. But I must say, if you only like books if you like the main characters, stay away from this book because you won't like either of them. Both Amy and Nick are so flawed you'll find yourself rooting against them.
Now for the disclaimer: since my blog is mainly about YA lit I need to add a note of caution. This is an adult book with plenty of sexual scenes and references. I think older teens would enjoy this book but I do not think it is appropriate for younger teens.
30 books this Summer Reading Challenge
17 / 30 books. 56% done!