There is a reason I don't read much anymore. Despite the name of this blog, which would suggest I not only read often but perhaps belong to an actual book club (neither of which are true), I just don't have the time for it. It's a sad confession, one I'm not proud of, but it's honest. Laying down with a book seems downright luxurious; my little Virgo brain likes to remind me that there is always a closet that can be cleaned, laundry to be washed, or a drawer to be purged.
However...within that, I haven't read a really really good work of fiction in a long time. Probably the last good book of note was In the Woods, by Tana French. I read it in 2009 while on bed rest. Literally, nothing has come across my desk in almost four years that made me think yes! Yes! YES! Nothing. Fifty Shades of Grey? For shame, E.L James. For shame.
Because here's the real deal...when I find a good book, I revert to 12 year-old Kim. The one that hid behind a book, curled into a ball on the couch, ignoring everyone and everything around her. The one that attended Christmas dinner with the relatives but refused to talk to anyone, because I just had to finish this chapter. The one who stayed up all hours of the night, fighting off sleep to get to the epilogue. The one who devoured books the way an over-eater devours a plate of brownies.
When it comes to really good books, I think I have a reading disorder.
It's best when really good books don't cross my path often. The dishes get done, dinner is made, and I get to bed at a decent time.
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, is one of those really good books. And therefore, Ms. Flynn inadvertently ruined my weekend because I just had to see how it ended.
Maybe you've already read it - it came out in July 2012 - or heard how 20th Century Fox dropped seven figures to produce the film version of it, starring America's sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon, as Amy Dunne. (I pictures Amy as more of a Gwyneth, but what can you do?) Here's the thing - if you haven't read it yet, go get it. And plan to have your entire weekend taken up by this book.
At it's most basic, it's a thriller. Amy, a beautiful young woman, vanishes on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband Nick is the prime suspect. The cops are small town, the motives are plentiful, and the secondary characters are colorful. Told from the point of view of Nick for one chapter, and Amy's the next, you get a very, very interesting picture of what kind of marriage they really had. And how they both viewed the same things so completely differently. At it's most complex, Gone Girl is a great read into modern-day marriage and all of its shortcomings; just how well do you know your partner? How much do we disclose...and how much do we fake? Do we really know who we are sleeping next to at night?
I don't want to give too much of the plot away as it would spoil the fun. My jaw dropped numerous times and poor Brian had to listen to me spew my shock, venom, and anger at him at the clever turns, crazy characters, and mixed-up motives. The writing is tight, funny, and incredibly current. The ending is not what I expected and since I had purchased it on the iPad, I didn't even know I had reached the end until I hit the page that said, "Acknowledgements." The hallmark of a great book is when it stays with you for days after you finish it...and this one will likely be with me until 2014.
Great job, Gillian Flynn.