Study Guide

Gone Girl Chapter 24

By Gillian Flynn

Chapter 24

Amy Elliott Dunne—October 21, 2011

  • Nick's mother has died. She courageously chose not to continue chemotherapy and instead spent her last days knitting hats for other cancer patients and being cared for by hospice nurses. The funeral was a simple tribute to Maureen where Amy stood aloof, feeling like an outsider, while Nick and Go cried on each other's shoulders.
  • As you might expect, Nick isn't taking the loss of his mother very well. He was used to being babied by her, even at age thirty-four. Maureen would come over to clean for them once a week, as well as cut up grapefruit just the way Nick likes it and put it in the fridge, and cut the crusts off their loaves of bread. Amy tries to do these things for him in the weeks following her death, but it doesn't go well—Nick tells her that he knows she isn't the motherly type and relieves her of trying to be Maureen.
  • All in all, the Nick of the red hearts on the calendar is dead and gone. The black squares have returned. When Nick does attempt intimacy, it's forceful rather than loving, and these days he uses Amy for sex and expects her to perform on demand, whether she wants to or not. Amy is genuinely worried. For the first time, even after all the difficulties they've faced since moving to Missouri, Amy fears that her marriage is genuinely falling apart.
  • To give herself a break from life, Amy starts going over to Noelle's house to play with her toddler triplets. This causes her, in a moment of stupidity, to ask Nick if they can have a baby. Nick gets angry and says they can't because his mother just died, they have no money, and his mother just died. Nick is about ready to crash and burn emotionally, and Amy knows he isn't exaggerating.

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