Written by Gillian Flynn in 2012, "Gone Girl" follows a woman who masterminds a plot, which includes faking her own disappearance and implying her own murder, to punish her husband, declare her worth and challenge the status quo of their comfortable, upper-middle-class marriage. The breakout novel inspired the 2014 movie of the same name, starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck as Amy and Nick Dunne.
Nick Dunne is a successful writer residing in Carthage, Missouri, with his wife, Amy. Although they appear outwardly perfect, both parties are unhappy and claim widely conflicting stories about the breakdown of their marriage. Amy and Nick take turns telling their individual and collective stories during the first part of the novel. Nick's voice is in first-person present tense, whereas Amy tells her story in retrospect via journal entries.
Amy paints a magnificent but nuanced picture of herself as a wife and her marriage to Nick, but Nick begs to differ, treating the reader to stories about Amy's mood swings, her antisocial streak and her stubborn behavior. At the same time, Amy's journal entries attest to Nick's various forms of aggression, a detail absent from his own account.
Amy vanishes on their fifth wedding anniversary. She embarks on an adventure of sorts, traveling under an alias, reuniting with and killing an old boyfriend, clashing with two guests at a motel where she lives for a spell, impregnating herself with Nick's sperm from the fertility clinic they patronize and ultimately returning to Nick and playing the part of innocent, abducted victim.
Amy and Nick decide to stay together, but each party suppresses profound misgivings and mutual secrets.