Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

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Finished on: April 01, 2022


Highlights



  • There's something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

  • So I know I am right not to settle, but it doesn't make me feel better as my friends pair off and I stay home on Friday night with a bottle of wine and make myself an extravagant meal and tell myself, This is perfect, as if I'm the one dating me. As I go to endless rounds of parties and bar nights, perfumed and sprayed and hopeful, rotating myself around the room like some dubious dessert. I go on dates with men who are nice and good-looking and smart perfect-on-paper men who make me feel like I'm in a foreign land, trying to explain myself, trying to make myself known. Because isn't that the point of every relationship: to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn't that the simple magic phrase?
    So you suffer through the night with the perfect-on-paper man - the stutter of jokes misunderstood, the witty remarks lobbed and missed. Or maybe he understands that you've made a witty remark but, unsure of what to do with it, he holds it in his hand like some bit of conversational phlegm he will wipe away later. You spend another hour trying to find each other, to recognize each other, and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.
    And then you run into Nick Dunne on Seventh Avenue as you're buying diced cantaloupe, and pow, you are known, you are recognized, the both of you. You both find the exact same things worth remembering. (Just one olive, though). You have the same rhythm. Click. You just know each other. All of a sudden you see reading in bed and maffles on Sunday and laughing at nothing and his mouth on yours. And it's so far beyond fine that you know you can never go back to fine. That fast. You think: Oh, here is the rest of my life. It's finally arrived.(p33) (Page 33)
  • 'People think they know her because they read the books growing up,' I said.
    'I can see that,' Boney said, nodding. 'People want to believe they know other people. Parents want to believe they know their kids. Wives want to believe they know their husbands.’

  • Amy was once a woman who did a little of everything, all the time. When we moved in together, she’d made an intense study of French cooking, displaying hyper-quick knife skills and an inspired boeuf bourguignon. For her thirty-fourth birthday, we flew to Barcelona, and she stunned me by rolling off trills of conversational Spanish, learned in months of secret lessons. My wife had a brilliant, popping brain, a greedy curiosity. But her obsessions tended to be fueled by competition: She needed to dazzle men and jealous-ify women: Of course Amy can cook French cuisine and speak fluent Spanish and garden and knit and run marathons and day-trade stocks and fly a plane and look like a runway model doing it. She needed to be Amazing Amy, all the time. Here in Missouri, the women shop at Target, they make diligent, comforting meals, they laugh about how little high school Spanish they remember. Competition doesn’t interest them. Amy’s relentless achieving is greeted with open-palmed acceptance and maybe a bit of pity. It was about the worst outcome possible for my competitive wife: A town of contented also-rans. (Location 811)




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