It was the cover on the paperback that first attracted me.
I was shopping in our local mall, and the bookstore has a stand with new releases just outside the entrance to the store. The book stood out to me. It was black and velvety with white words. I picked it up, touched it, read the back, then made myself remember the title, went home and ordered it on audio books. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Simply put, Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy Dunn, the perfect couple, with perfect lives and a perfect marriage. Until one day, Nick comes home and finds that Amy is missing. And there's a lot of blood. The hunt for Amy commences, and Nick finds himself as the prime suspect.
Without giving any spoilers, I want to tell you what I learned from this book. I have recommended it to many friends, and two of those I recommended it to, who read it, hated it.
Gone Girl is the kind of book that provokes strong emotion. I was fascinated by it.
I have to be in the mood for a thriller. And the day I picked up Gone Girl at the bookshop I was in the mood. But this book has given me much more than just a thrill.
I view this book in two parts. The first half and the second half. If you've read it, you'll understand that. If you haven't, persevere with the first half. I nearly didn't. I nearly got bored and moved on to the next book.
I'm so glad I didn't.
At about halfway, the story takes a dramatic turn, and then you won't be able to put it down. Like, seriously. You won't be able to put it down. So it might be a good idea to get it on audio, because then you can drive while listening to it, and you can cook dinner while listening to it, and you can pretty much do anything you want, short of having conversations with real people in real life, and still be absorbed in the story.
Gone Girl came into my life at a crucial time.
I was struggling to understand the actions of a former employer of mine. I was shocked, confused, dismayed and had many huge choices to make ahead of me as I worked through the ramifications of realising I had been a victim of sexual harassment and predatory grooming.
So what did this book teach me?
It taught me about a word I was not formerly familiar with.
Gone Girl is narcissism on steroids.
It's evil. It's dark. It's deadly. It's frightening. But, if you have an interest in human behaviour or the psychology of the human mind, it's fascinating.
Gone Girl woke me up to the narcissists in my life, and the impact that narcissism has had on my life. It was the catalyst that started me on my journey of discovery and mourning and healing.
I'm not just talking about my former employer and groomer, but others who have had an impact on my life throughout the years and whom I believe have this personality disorder.
I researched it. I read about it. I joined Facebook groups and I read books and talked to others on how to deal with a narcissist. I consulted with experts and those with a deep understanding of the disorder. Here is one of those writers who has been a great help to me personally, and given me good advice in how to deal with it.
I have not seen the movie Gone Girl, yet. I am a firm believer in reading the book first; unless I hate the book, then I'll watch the movie in the hopes that it will spark my interest in the book!
But with Gone Girl, the book came first.
It's a story that haunts you, will stay with you and will provoke a strong reaction in you.
Have you read the book? Have you seen the movie? I'd love to know what you think!