Carla Acheson

Historical Fiction Author


“Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Men
actually think this girl exists. They’re not even pretending
to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the
woman a man wants them to be.”

Gone Girl‘Gone Girl’ is my first foray into the works of Gillian Flynn, and in truth, not a choice I would normally make. I read it based on the average review, and well, because so many other people did.  Baa I’m a sheep! But seriously, just like a restaurant, if it’s packed out it must be good right? And you have to move right in there because you want to know what you’re missing.

If you like any of the following subjects you will no doubt love this book.

  • Psychology
  • Twisted relationships
  • Whodunnit stories
  • Warped and sadistic humour.

In other words, a story about a totally ‘effed up’ couple from beginning to end.

Amy, a thirty-something, wealthy, city-girl, is emotionally torn by sudden financial meltdown, job loss and debts. The whole spin off has a full impact on not only her self-image and happiness, but on her own perspective of her current life with husband, Nick. When she disappears on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary all fingers point towards him; a self-indulgent, narcissistic man-child.

Written in the first person, via alternate perspectives, the author craftily weaves a blindingly true picture of the couple’s externally admirable (but inwardly twisted) relationship. The dual narrative between them plays out brilliantly, and the author makes you constantly question their real feelings and motives.

We are led through, an at times uncomfortable, but crudely transfixing journey of an ordinary well-to-do couple who are deeply flawed (because everyone is a bit shady,) and their supposedly ideal marriage. One which, for a long time, appears to have been unravelling at the seams. The bittersweet beats of this story are twisted lies, told all too compassionately, and sneaky underhanded tactics doled out with sweet syrupy malice.

Whilst the search is on for Amy, the clever lies pile up like profiteroles stacked on a dangerously rocky base.  At every turn of the page new gut-wrenching surprises are uncovered, and many times I was reminded of De Vito’s classic “War of The Roses.”

I also laughed.

A lot.

The dialogue is punchy, electric. I paused and chortled in parts thinking, ‘God this is one sick couple.’

When you are lost in a the subterfuge of some very convincing  and witty psuedo-psycho babble, you find yourself rooting for one of the characters, then in the next scene your allegiance shifts straight to the other. I could identify with both, as neither seem to be telling the ‘whole’ truth, and it highlights how years of pain, hurt and lies buried under a stoic facade can lead people to do utterly crazy things.

Amy and Nick’s constantly shifting motivations head towards a slow-boiling climax, and it is ultimately heartbreaking as much as it is entertaining.

This book may not be for everybody, but I found it gritty, incisive, and it definitely appealed to my liking of sardonic and dark-edged wit.  Needless to say, I continued to absorb it long after I put down.




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