A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it. x
Gillian Flynn became one of my favorite authors after reading Gone Girl because I love how dark and twisted it is. So when I saw The Grownup on bookstagram, I just know that I have to buy it. And boy, I’m glad I did. This is also my first read for 2016.
“I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.”
That was my reaction while reading the opening lines of The Grownup. I even read some of the lines to my husband out loud and he asked “What the hell are you reading there?”. I wasn’t expecting that kind of introduction but it’s Gillian Flynn so what can I expect. It’s actually catchy because you may think that it has a different meaning (just like what I thought) but you’re wrong.
The Grownup is written on our nameless female protagonist’s POV. Her job is to give pleasure by doing hand jobs (you’ve read that right) but after experiencing some symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, she makes a career move. She’s now an “aura reader” and one of her customers, Susan, who is living in a Victorian house, believes that the house is haunted and his stepson is being possessed. Our “psychic” helps her by “cleansing” the house and this is where everything gets creepy.
The main character is funny, clever and has a great sense of humor that’s why I personally like her. The other characters are odly fascinating and they added more impact to the story. Although the book is (way) too short, it’s still well-written. I love how Flynn can entertain and manipulate her reader’s minds at the same time. As expected, there are great twists and reveals towards the end. The ending felt rushed (especially the revelation part) but this is a short story so probably it has to be like that but I wished it was a longer than 64 pages and the ending was not a bit of a cliffhanger. It left me with so many questions that I will probably never know the answers.
I totally enjoyed reading this book and I recommend this not only because it’s from Gillian Flynn but also because it’s one of the best short stories I’ve read.
Edition : Paperback (63 pages)
Publisher : Crown (Nov 3, 2015)
Genre : Horror, thriller, short Stories
Date Read : January 2015
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The Grownup (original title is What Do You Do?) is part of a short story collection of George R.R. Martin entitled “Rogues“. It was released in June 2014.