From suspenseful reads to literary tweeds…
What I liked about Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is it forces you to question your preferences. Where are we comfortable? In what gender roles do we prefer to see others and, in return, ourselves?
My book club reviewed Gone Girl last month, and we had some interesting debates. Which character did we like better? Did we like the character better at the beginning of the novel or better at the end of the novel? Because the characters do change…oh boy, do they change. No spoilers here though. We also looked at women’s roles in general, and do women take on a persona different from themselves when dating and in relationships? We thought so. The question is to what degree is that healthy or wise? Is it unavoidable that we will act differently with the opposite sex than we do with the same sex or in our immediate families. People do return to their roles of youth when cast back into that setting – watch yourself at the next family reunion – are you 40 or 10? Do we do that with the opposite sex, too? Gillian Flynn looks at change of persona and calculates its effect on relationships…in an extreme sense – it is a thriller. Was it scary? No.
The novel may be considered mainstay without the grand twist in the middle. A younger couple drifting towards middle-age while drifting apart from each other. An identity crisis enhanced by the economic adversity of the day. The twist is what will keep you reading and increase the pace. The outcome drove my book club mad. Some found it far-fetched and unlikely while others, torn by their increased sympathy, thought why not.
Our world, countries and homes have and our continuing to face difficult times. I have seen this mentioned now in a few movies and books. I am glad as it sets a scene with realism that we can relate to. Trying to times can bring out the best and the worst in us. Remember Lord of the Flies?
Lastly, Gillian Flynn looks at the role of the media in defining the roles of relationships and behaviour. What is acceptable and what is not in the eyes of society? How does the media shape societal and our own views? Who decides – the audience or the moderator?
Gone Girl is a light jaunt of a read which won’t bog you down in metaphoric prose like a literary novel might. The key to its success is the guise of simplicity over some truly grandiose questions about relationships and society.