Publishing year: 2012
I know that this book was a best-seller when it was released.
There is even a film, but I have to say that I don’t know much about the plot. When I choose books to read, I read the blurb, but by the time I read a book, I’ve forgotten what the novel is about, so I usually get surprised. In this case, I had the idea that the novel was about a little girl who goes missing, but after reading the first few chapters I realize I was wrong.
The book is about Nick and Amy, a married couple. Amy and Nick meet in New York where they both worked as writers. Nick worked for a magazine, writing popular culture articles, and Amy wrote quizzes for teenagers. Then when the recession struck, Nick decided to return to North Carthage, Missouri, his home town, and even though Amy isn’t happy about it, she finally relented. They’ve been living in Missouri for two years now. Nick owns a bar with his twin sister Margo.
The book is told from two different perspectives. We have Nick’s perspectives at present, and Amy’s in 2005 when she and Nick met. The present-day story starts the day on which Amy and Nick celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick is not very happy about it, as Amy usually likes to play these hunting games. Amy writes clues for him to find out, but as Nick sucks at remembering things, they end up fighting and Amy doubting his love for her. This year something else is going to mar the celebration. While in the bar, Nick gets a call from a neighbour, telling him that his cat is out of the house and his front door wide open. When Nick goes home, he gets concerned as the door is really wide open, and when she goes inside, there’s no trace of Amy. The ironing board is ready to be used, the kettle still on the cooker, and there’s signs of fighting in the living room. So Nick calls the police, and his fears for his wife soar.
Interesting start. Now and again the style is confusing, and at times I have to re-read things a couple of times. The tone of Nick’s parts are quite grim, which contrasts with cheerful and often difficult-to-follow parts of Amy’s diary.