Hi there, Bookies:
First, are you feeling the same way that I am—that you can’t read fast enough? This book is like a good episode of Lost. It’s been a while since I’ve read such a true page-turner. I am currently on vacation—at the beach with my family for a few days—and my head has been buried in this book. Luckily, Charlie, my 5-month-old, seems to be content playing with toys in the shade, while I eagerly read page after page. I started explaining the plot to my husband and, when describing the Dunnes’ marriage, I realized that I am having a hard time pegging Nick and Amy. There are qualities in each of them that raise some serious flags. Do you agree?
Let’s jump right in and start with their marriage. Both Amy and Nick describe their first few years in a positive light. They seemed very much in love, yet toward their third and fourth years, things quickly went downhill. But was it a shared failure?
Obviously, right now I want to say that it’s Nick’s fault—he’s definitely coming across as anything but good. However, Flynn gives us hints that there’s more to the story. For example, in the violent scene where Nick hits Amy, she says, “I knew what I was doing. I was punching every button on him. I was watching him coil tighter and tighter—I wanted him to finally say something, do something. Even if it’s bad, even if it’s the worst, do something, Nick. Don’t leave me here like a ghost.” After reading this, I disliked Nick even more, but I also started to see a different side of Amy.
Let’s talk about Amy: She’s described as the ultimate people-pleaser, especially when it comes to her husband. For instance, she answers in one of her personality quizzes that she should “c) Have faith that this is just a bump in a long marriage—he is in a dark place—so try to be understanding and wait it out.” Did “waiting it out” ultimately lead to her disappearance or death? What are your thoughts on her pleasing personality? How do you think it relates to what happens?
Back to Nick. Some highlights (lowlights?): his attack on Amy; his mistress, Andie; blowing off an anniversary to drink with coworkers (and visit strip clubs)—the list goes on and on. Nick’s behavior is maddening, but maybe there’s more to it. Maybe it’s not so one-sided. What do you think? Right now I think Nick’s far from a good guy, but did he murder his wife?
Flynn hints from the beginning (literally, from page 1) that Nick could be the villain—he describes Amy’s perfect head at length, saying “You could imagine the skull quite easily.” And some chapters later: “So there it came, out of nowhere, as Rand begged for his daughter’s return: a killer smile.” Creepy, right?
But Flynn has given us a few other suspects. Nick’s father, especially the night he showed up at the police station covered in scratches. Amy’s father: One of her ex-boyfriends said to keep an eye on him during the investigation. And the ex-boyfriend, the childhood stalker, the best friend Noelle, riffraff in the town… And then there’s Amy herself. Did she stage her attack? As you can see, my mind is running. I can’t wait to read Part 2.
All right, enough of my thoughts. What do you think? Do you like the book so far? Who do you think is a suspect? Is Amy behind the attack? Finally, don’t you love the way Flynn writes?
Looking forward to reading your comments and digging in to Part 2! Happy reading!