This is another book that I'm like 3 years behind everyone else in reading. I didn't see the movie, so I didn't know the whole plot, but this was such a big phenomenon that it's hard to not know what at least some of it is about. Basically, I went into the book knowing two things: that everyone thinks Nick has killed his wife Amy, and that Amy is an unreliable narrator. Oh, and there's a bit I knew about a champagne/wine bottle which I'm not going to get into here because WTF?
Those three letters basically sum up the entire book. WTF? I can totally see how people went so bonkers over this book when it hit the shelves. It's a perfect storm of people being absolutely psycho, on pretty much all fronts. When Amy goes missing on the morning of her five-year wedding anniversary with Nick, everyone immediately suspects that he killed her, because it's always the husband, right? Nick insists he didn't kill Amy, but he's clearly lying about a ton of stuff, even to the reader--as he says, he's a big fan of lies by omission, though lies by omission and regular old lies start to get very tangled up very quickly here. Interspersed with Nick reacting completely inappropriately and trying to prove his innocence are entries from Amy's diary, depicting how their relationship and marriage was perfect, and then how it slowly wasn't. I knew that Amy was an unreliable narrator, I knew that these diary entries had to be big whoppers--and yet I still found myself getting sucked in. Amy's character is a master manipulator of the people around her, even across time and distance, and even straight out of the book--how else could Flynn have gotten so many people worked up, except to have Amy manipulate the reader in addition to the characters? That's exactly what she did, and she did it masterfully. I found myself liking Amy and not liking Nick more and more as time went on, even though I knew she was totally psycho from the beginning. This is one of those books that messes with your head, and does it masterfully.
And the ending!!!!!
Ultimately, though, this is a book about a marriage more than anything else. A messed-up, twisted, horrible marriage that probably never should have happened, but Amy is completely psychotic and so it did, for a variety of her own psycho reasons. It's a book that looks into how there are two sides to every relationship, and every story, and maybe if your significant other comes with a lot of baggage about a string of stalkers and crazy happenings...well, perhaps you should look at them a little closer, not just the crazies following them. Very creepy, very twisted, with an ending that wasn't at all what I expected. I wasn't quite satisfied with it--but then, I suppose that was the point.
5 stars out of 5.