The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
[Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]
This is a novella that I finished in one (very short) seating.
I’ve never been a big fan of short stories (maybe except for those that Roald Dahl wrote), partly because the story’s usually over before I could grow to like or hate the characters.
Ironically, a third of this story was dedicated to the protagonist’s history and background, and I didn’t like it. I’m not sure why, but I think I was expecting Flynn to get to the story more quickly, given that there were not many pages to the book. What saved the book was probably the fact that Flynn wrote it in a highly readable and engaging style that tended to keep the reader turning the page.
I’m glad I didn’t abandon the book before I reached the mid-way point though, because that was when the story finally got interesting, and I was rewarded with a Gillian Flynn twist that I wasn’t expecting.
VERDICT: Don’t compare this with Gone Girl, and don’t expect to have a conclusive ending to this story. I can’t tell you more than that without betraying what such a short story can offer.
For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:
A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (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. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home. The young woman doesn’t believe in exorcism or the supernatural. However when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time …The Grownup, which originally appeared as ‘What Do You Do?’ in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.