I once had a very good friend. This very good friend, it turned out, wasn’t who I’d thought she was. My discovery of this pesky detail – of her lies and deceptions and manipulations – is the defining heartache of my adult life to this point.
I’m over it, now. But reading Gone Girl, the new thriller by Gillian Flynn, teased me about it. It made me think, as I read, of my own experience of shock and dismay when I discovered the reality of my relationship with my no-longer friend.
Gone Girl is about complex people and complicated relationships. It’s awesome. And it’s an addictive story. And I can’t say much more about it without spoiling it.
So I’ll push aside the bit about the compelling story triggering my fragile bullshit, and I’ll switch to a part of the book that made me laugh out loud.
As background, I’ll tell you that I lived in Delaware for four years in my early twenties, and there are few places I loathe more. I say this understanding that you, dear reader, may live in Delaware, so know I don’t say it lightly, and I don’t say it to offend you, and I apologize if it does. But for real, I hate that place and I was miserable there.
On page 39 of Gone Girl, the character Amy writes this in her diary (note that she lived in New York):
We do silly things, like last weekend we drove to Delaware because neither of us have ever had sex in Delaware. Let me set the scene, because now it really is for posterity. We cross the state line–Welcome to Delaware!, the sign says, and also: Small Wonder, and also: The First State, and also: Home of Tax-Free Shopping.
Delaware, a state of many rich identities.
And I snorted. Because when I read the first part (Welcome to Delaware!), I thought “Small Wonder!”, and then I proceeded to think the other slogans before my eyes flitted to her actually having written them. That’s how it really is in Delaware, see. The laundry list of rich identities shouted from the road sign on the other side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, alerting you to the fact that if you’re just passing through on your drive down I-95, you’ll be spending the next twenty minutes of your drive in an absolutely fascinating place. Or so the slogan-adopters of Delaware want you to believe.
You might think this is dumb, but this wee bit of page 39 made me certain I would love this book. And though the ending didn’t really sit right with me, perhaps for how quick it is but certainly not because I think it was a bad ending, I did love it. It thoroughly entertained me.
That is, when I wasn’t plagued by the heavy shit it made me think about in my own life.
So. Delaware!This post is inspired by mystery thriller GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn. They may not have the perfect marriage, but after Amy goes missing, Nick becomes the number one suspect. Can he discover what happened before it’s too late? Join From Left to Write on June 12 as we discuss Gone Girl. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.