The Grown Up
Author: Gillian Flynn
Originally Published: 7th October 2015
Format: Kindle (80 pages)
Synopsis: A young woman is making a living, faking it as a cut-price psychic working at Spiritual Palms (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage – mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke. Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor, built in 1893. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home, and taking possession of the stepson. She has even found trickles of blood on the wall. The young woman doesn’t believe in exorcism or the supernatural, but she does see an opportunity to make a lot of money. However when she enters the house for the first time, and meets Miles, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time….
My Rating: ★★★★
This short story has been on my tbr list since the first day I saw it was being released as a stand-alone book. I absolutely adore Gillian Flynn’s books, I devoured Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I find her writing style so enthralling and I can never bring myself to put her books down. They are equal parts thrilling and terrifying and I LOVE them. So you can imagine how much I was looking forward to this short story from her.
I was not disappointed. The Grownup introduces us to another manipulative woman as its lead character, a character who has made a life for herself by stealing as a youngster with her mother and gone on to lead a life of hand jobs and fake fortune telling. Little did she know how that would turn out for her …
Our leading lady meets her match (or does she?) and becomes entwined in a story of stepmother/stepson rivalry, a haunted house, a tragic and murderous history and some creepy characters – all in less than 100 pages! There is plenty of tension building and mystery in this story. It may be short but it contains everything you would expect from a Flynn novel.
The only reason I didn’t give this a full five star rating is because the end was a bit too ambiguous for me. Flynn really left this one quite open at the end and I just needed to know more to satisfy me that the story had ended. Although, setting that aside, the ending does work in some ways and I’m sure that some people would love the way this story was left.
What did I love most about the book?
I just love Flynn’s writing style. Although I read this in about 25-30 minutes, I was totally captured by the characters and what was happening. I love that Flynn set up this story with it seemingly taking only one direction, almost leading me to think it was totally predictable, and then she turned me 180 degrees and sent me off in the opposite direction, only to turn me back another 90 degrees and offer another route.
“Books may be temporary; dicks are forever.”
“People are dumb. I’ll never get over how dumb people are.”
A fantastic and quick read, especially for anyone who is already a Flynn fan or someone thinking about trying out something of hers. My only problem is that I am now pining for another Flynn novel to read!