Mortal Matrimony

Gillian Flynn’s cutting novel, Gone Girl, focuses on a young married couple, Amy and Nick Dunne, and their crumbling marriage. Having both lost their jobs in New York, the couple consequently relocates to Nick’s hometown in Missouri, the bane of Amy’s existence. Nick opens a bar with his sister, using the rest of Amy’s trust fund money she received from her famous parents. On their fifth wedding anniversary Amy goes missing, and a full-fledged investigation ensues. Nick, under the scrutiny of this investigation, is the first and longstanding suspect, according to the police and many of his pesky neighbors. Well into the book significant secrets of both Amy and Nick are revealed. These two revelations show the unreliability of these two characters, making the reader question their credibility in the past and following chapters. The book ends with a twisted take on a happy ending, making the reader’s hair stand on end, and even being a bit frustrating. This suspenseful tale of deceit and love uses many thoughtful literary devices to tell its story. The book switches off from Nick’s present day narration and Amy’s past journal entries, creating an interesting dynamic of their points of view. Both characters are biased, favoring themselves and painting the flaws of the other. Also, having both of them as unreliable narrators creates another level of suspense in the novel, as the reader cannot be sure what is true and the mental state of both the characters is compromised. With these literary devices, Gillian Flynn makes a standard thriller into artful piece of stimulating literature.