Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013

Gone Girl first came to my notice in a number of Best of 2012 blogging lists.  I must read that, I thought, expecting to be completely blown away by it.

Well, it didn’t happen – at least not until the second half.  After the twist, which, of course, I can’t tell you about.

So I find myself n a bit of a dilemma.  I can tell you that the first half was spoiled for me by
the wife’s voice.  It just didn’t feel credible.  Something didn’t add up; there was a whole subtext missing.   And that was true as became clear in the second half.  After that I couldn’t stop reading.

This is the story of an utterly miserable marriage, of a power struggle, emotional blackmail and the basest manipulation. The battle of the sexes was never uglier, though it is a pretty uneven fight.  When one of the participants is a fully-fledged sociopath, there can only one winner.

On another level the author is also manipulating the reader through many, many lies of omission.  My sympathies waxed and waned towards both husband and wife, and at one point I decided they deserved each other.  But then two unconscionable events occurred and my sympath-o-meter swung decisively to one side.

I realise this “review” is on the cryptic side. Deliberately so.  Those who have read it will understand.  I don’t want to give anything away to those who haven’t as the plot is utterly sensational and the smallest detail is hugely significant.  But for the sake of my memory, I’m ending with a clue.

The Maiden caught me in the Wild,
Where I was dancing merrily;
She put me into her Cabinet,
And Lockd me up with a golden key.

(From The Crystal Cabinet, William Blake)

3hstars and an addition to my completist reading list!