Gone Girl book description: Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and Amy Dunne’s difficult marriage, which is floundering for several reasons. The first half of the book is told in first person, alternately, by both Nick and Amy; Nick’s perspective is from the present, and Amy’s from the past by way of journal entries. The two stories are very different. Amy’s account of their marriage makes her seem happier and easier to live with than Nick depicts. Nick’s story, on the other hand, talks about her as extremely anti-social and stubborn. Amy’s depiction makes Nick seem more aggressive than he says he is in his story.
Nick loses his job as a journalist due to downsizing, and Amy loses her job as a magazine quiz writer shortly after. The couple relocate from New York City to his small hometown of North Carthage, Missouri, in part so the couple can help care for his dying mother. He opens a bar using the last of his wife’s trust fund and runs it with his twin sister, Margo. The bar provides a decent living for the three Dunnes, but the marriage becomes more dysfunctional. Amy loved her life in New York and hates what she considers the soulless “McMansion” which she and Nick rent.
On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. Nick becomes a prime suspect in her disappearance for various reasons: he used her money to start a business, increased her life insurance, and seems unemotional on camera and in the news. The police later find boxes of violent pornography and other items he had denied purchasing in the woodshed, further implicating him.
In the novel’s second half, the reader learns Amy and Nick are unreliable narrators and that the reader has not been given all of the information. Nick has been having an affair, and Amy is alive and hiding, trying to frame Nick for her “death”. Her diary is fake, intended to implicate Nick to the police. Nick soon discovers that Amy is framing him but has no way of proving it.
Amy is robbed by fellow guests of a motel and left without any money. Meanwhile, Nick begins pleading for her return, to convince her that he loves her still. Desperate, she seeks help from her obsessive first boyfriend, Desi. He agrees to hide her, but Amy soon feels trapped in his house as Desi becomes possessive. She murders him and returns to her husband, saying she had been kidnapped. Nick knows she is a killer, but he stays in his marriage because he has no proof of her crimes and deceits. Amy forces him to fake his love, hoping that he will eventually love her. She begins writing her memoirs, while Nick writes his own memoir exposing Amy’s lies. Amy then impregnates herself with Nick’s semen, and makes him delete his book by threatening to kill her unborn child. In the end, Nick chooses to stay with Amy, keeping the charade forever, for his child’s sake.