This book deserves to remain a mystery for anyone who read the book jacket and decided it would be a good story. I studiously avoided any reviews once I was well into the book. Gillian Flynn is the ultimate wordsmith applying apt and descriptive language, paragraphs which paint a picture of the room, the people and even the emotional dialogue.
One thing I read from others who had read the book was you don’t like either of the main characters. You don’t have sympathy for them.
Well…I was only about 30 or 40 pages into the story and thought, that’s odd, and why would it be so popular if you didn’t like the characters, and I disagree as I am liking one over the other right off.
Yeeeah…wait for it. This book is divided into three sections. Part one covers the early life of Nick and Amy, their first 5 years of marriage (and the courtship) summed up. They both lost their jobs and they are living in New York when Nick gets a call from his sister in Missouri. His mother is dying and help is needed. They move there and you read about the charming and cold hearted behavior of Nick and think you’ll have it all figured out.
You feel like you know them…just a tad more than scratching the surface. Part two continues on with the story from a different perspective – I widened my eyes at the revelations exposed here. This glimpse into a world of selfish people turns into a bit of a thriller… kept me guessing at how this would all turn out. I would have preferred a different ending but I am certainly not sorry I read this book. Doesn’t that speak volumes when you read or watch something and you still discuss it long after. Lots of psychological sickness and calculation in these pages.
Some quotes I liked:
“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold”
This is a memory Nick had of something Amy said years ago. Have you ever had a random memory of something you saw or heard when you were a kid and then as an adult, everything falls into place? Oh, that’s what that meant…because you now have a different perspective, a different and more mature (maybe) outlook.
I like this quote too:
“People say children from broken homes have it hard, but the children of charmed marriages have their own particular challenges.”
This speaks about Amy’s parents, Rand and Marybeth, who are soul mates (as they define themselves):
“My parents circulate the room, hand in hand….they call themselves soul mates, and I guess they are…I can vouch for it having studied them, little lonely only child, for many years. They have no harsh edges with each other, no spiny conflicts, they ride through life like conjoined jellyfish – expanding and contracting instinctively, filling each other’s spaces liquidly.”
“I don’t often say things when I should. I contain and compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you’d never guess from looking at me”
For the food aspect the live lobsters are the clear choice. This is the anniversary dinner tradition from the book. But I just can’t bring myself to lower a lobster into boiling water. Yeah yeah…..I know I eat steak, lamb and chicken………..but I would be a lousy farmer/rancher having to kill my food. So……I made Chicken Frito Pie. This dish makes an appearance in part one of the book.
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