Section 1 Summary (Chapters 1-8) In Part One of Gone Girl, titled “Boy Loses Girl,” the chapters alternate between the perspectives of Nick Dunne, the main character, and Amy Elliott, Nick’s wife. Nick’s chapters focus on present day, while Amy’s chapters are her diary entries from the past, integrated into the story to give insight on her overall personality and her feelings towards their marriage and relationship. Nick’s present day starts with Nick waking up in their rented house in Carthage, Missouri, his hometown.
His narration explains that he and Amy moved back to his hometown after losing their New York magazine writing jobs, also because of his parents’ dying condition. Though today was their 5-year wedding anniversary, Nick expresses cold, distant feelings about his wife, indicating discord in their relationship. Their morning interactions are left a mystery to the reader as of right now, so the story jumps to Nick travelling to The Bar, the bar he co-owns with his twin sister, Margo (Go for short).
Nick expresses his anxiety to Go about Amy’s annual anniversary gift, a treasure hunt with clues that revolve around their relationship, which ends in anger as Nick fails to answer her riddles. When Nick returns home, he finds his living room wrecked, discovering Amy’s disappearance. At the police station, Nick answers Detective Boney’s interview questions, lying about his whereabouts that morning. Nick seems to think that his morning interactions with Amy would cause suspicion, which is why he hid the truth from the detectives. Amy’s diary entries explain her career as a personality quiz writer for women’s magazines.
At this point in her life, Amy expresses her unhappiness towards her parents’ young adult book series, Amazing Amy, which portrays their idea of an ideal daughter. In the latest book, Amazing Amy gets married, reminding the real Amy of her loneliness. Then, her relationship with Nick begins. In another diary entry, she explains the freedom and trust she gives Nick, and how he does not have to constantly prove their love. She actively comments on how their revolutionary relationship sets them apart from her female friends, who all have their husbands doing a “dancing monkey” act in order to keep them in line.
Amy is clearly proud of her perceived strength of their relationship. Section 2 Summary (Chapters 9-12) Returning to the police station the next day, Nick meets up with Amy’s parents, obviously devastated about the news. Afterwards, Nick speaks to the press about Amy’s disappearance. Paranoid of displaying emotion, Nick represses his sadness, but as a result appears bored and unemotional to the press, and even accidentally smiles on camera, arousing more suspicion.
Nick receives permission from the police to open his anniversary gift, revealing Amy’s first clue in their anniversary treasure hunt. Following the clue, Detective Gilpin accompanies Nick to the local college where Nick works. After finding the second clue in Nick’s office, Nick yet again lies to the detective, claiming he does not know what the second clue means, but the clue is left a mystery to the reader. Leaving the college, Nick meets up with Amy’s parents in their hotel room, where they discuss potential suspects, like Hilary Handy, a crazy fan of Amazing Amy with a restraining order.
Amy’s exboyfriend, Desi, also seems like a promising suspect as he displayed frightening and stalkerish behavior in the past, so Nick decides that he will check on Desi. Though Amy’s parents express sympathy for Nick, they briefly indicate through their facial expressions that they’ve considered Nick as a suspect, but they dismiss the thought immediately. Amy’s diary entries reveal their marital problems and Nick’s lack of care and attention. After Nick was laid off, he stays at home sulking, ignoring Amy.
When Amy loses her job, Nick expresses no sympathy, and assures her that her trust-fund wealth will always keep them afloat. Amy’s parents approach her asking for money, broke from their latest Amazing Amy flops, and Amy automatically agrees without further discussion with Nick. Section 3 Summary (Chapters 13-19) While at the “Find Amy Dunne headquarters,” set up by Amy’ parents in the ballroom of their hotel, Nick talks with an old friend, Stucks, who suspects that the Blue Book Boys, a group of highly disgruntled laid off workers, may have something to do with Amy’s disappearance.
The Blue Book Boys spend their work-free days dealing drugs and sexually assaulting women while hanging out at the mall, information that Nick promptly tell the detectives. The next day, after hearing that the cops’ daytime visit to the mall was useless, Nick decides to visit the mall at night with Stucks, the Hillsam brothers (“town badasses”), and Amy’s father. Then, Nick follows Amy’s second clue to Hannibal, Missouri, and finds the third taped to the underside of a bench. Reading Amy’s compliments for him in her writing, he realizes this was her attempt to fix their marriage.
Later, Nick’s nighttime mall adventure ends when the leader of the Blue Book Boys informs him that Amy approached him about buying a gun. The next day, Noelle, Nick’s neighbor, displays stalkerish behavior, claiming that her and Amy were best friends, adding her to the list of suspects. That night, Amy’s third clue leads Nick to his father’s vacant house where he finds the difficult fouth clue that completely stumps him. Later, at Go’s house, Nick answers the door and sees Andie, his mistress, whom Nick met while teaching one of his classes.
Nick justifies the affair by claiming Amy’s distant and depressive mood prevented her from giving him the attention he needed, so her turned to Andie for intimacy. Andie spent the night on the couch, and her presence was discovered by Go. Section 4 Summary (20-26) Although Nick tries to convince the detectives that Desi should be considered as a suspect, the detectives dismiss his ideas and proceed to question him about inconsistencies within his story of the day of Amy’s disappearance.
The Luminol sweep of the kitchen indicates that Amy experienced massive blood loss. The cops also found records of a great amount of credit card debt all under Nick’s name. Nick claims that these two pieces of evidence have nothing to do with him, but, like the cops, the reader feels suspicious of Nick’s actions. The cops also inform Nick that Noelle, their neighbor, was telling the truth, and her and Amy were in fact friends, a detail Nick must have missed while he was busy ignoring Amy and being an overall terrible husband.
The media believes Nick to be guilty, so Amy’s parents and Go strive to help Nick repair his image at Amy’s candlelight vigil. Nick’s speech at the vigil was ruined when Noelle approached him in front of the crowd and announced Amy’s pregnancy, another detail of which Nick was painfully unaware. Amy’s diary entries portray her as an outsider to Nick’s family as he and Go must deal with their mother’s cancer and father’s alzheimer’s.
She feels more alone than ever when Nick’s mother dies, leaving him an emotional wreck and unwilling reach out to Amy for support. In conclusion, Nick and Amy are stuck in a failing marriage with poor communication and zero attempts to revive their connection. The diary entry featured in Chapter 26 provide important clues about Amy’s disappearance, as Amy talks about Nick’s actual hatred towards her that leads to physical abuse, which is why Amy wanted to purchase a gun in order to defend herself from Nick’s display of physical aggression.
Section 5 (Chapters 27-29) After hearing the news of Amy’s pregnancy, Go calls Nick out on all his lying, unsure if she completely believes Nick when he claims he did not kill Amy. Her pregnancy is in fact confirmed, reported by one of the detectives. Nick leaves for New York to meet with lawyer Tanner Bolt, who advises Nick on how to gain a more positive public view. When Nick returns to Missouri, he tackles the fourth clue, realizing the next location was the toolshed behind Go’s house.
When he enters the shed, he expresses his unadulterated horror by thinking, “nonononono. ” The date from Amy’s diary in Chapter 28 is very close to the date of her disappearance, as she discusses her discovery of her pregnancy and the fact that her and Nick’s anniversary was coming up that next week. She also expresses her fear that Nick wants to and is planning to murder her, blaming her loss of beauty and jobless state; her “value has decreased. ” (204). Section 6 (Chapters 30-) At Chapter 30, the book enters Part 2, titled “Boy Meets Girl.
Chapter 30 is told from Amy’s perspective on the day of her supposed disappearance, however the reader learns that she faked her entire disappearance in order to frame Nick for her murder. She reveals that her plan has been in the works for a year, and that the diary entries from Part 1 were filled with lies in order to build the case against Nick. For example, she reveals that her fear of blood was a lie, included in her diary so that detectives would dismiss the idea that she cut herself in order to spill the blood in the kitchen, but in fact she did cut herself to do exactly that!
Amy tells the reader that the personality she built for herself in her diary differs from her true self. In order to woo Nick, she changed her personality to fit a kind of cool vibe that would attract guys, and she has kept it up until now. She is unable to keep up this fake persona, so she decides to fake her death in order to escape. Back to Nick’s perspective, he and Go examine the contents of the shed. Amy created