Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Publication Year: 2015
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....
The Grownup is a short story originally written for an anthology called Rogue. This short story revolves around a con woman who makes a living by giving hand jobs to men. After developing carpal tunnel syndrome, she was then promoted to be a psychic whose job is to read people’s aura. In actuality, what she does is telling people what they want to hear based on what she sees in them. That all change until one day, there’s a woman named Susan who claims that her house is haunted and there’s something wrong with her stepson. Seeing this as an opportunity to make more money, our con woman agreed to help Susan. She believes that she could trick her way out of Susan’s problem when it turns out that there’s much more mystery behind this haunted house.
I love Flynn’s works and this one starts out just like her other books. We have a complex woman with not-so-clean past as a main character. What interesting is in this short story, we don’t know the main character’s name. It’s also written in first person, which puts us in her head and somehow makes her experience is personal to the reader. She has questionable morality and she does nothing about it because she thinks that’s just the way she is. She’s been a con artist her whole life. Even when she’s younger, her mother taught her to beg for money from people using different approaches based on her reading of those people.
Since I have read Flynn’s books before, I expected some plot twist. Considering how short The Grownup is, you would think that maybe there’s no twist after all in this story. But of course, there is a twist in this book and it’s perfect. It comes at the right time and it doesn’t feel rushed at all. In fact, the twist makes sense to me. It was so messed up that I love it. Fun fact, it’s connected with the title of this book. That moment when you realized what the title means, it was satisfying.
I wish I could talk about this book more without spoiling anything, but it seems like I couldn’t. So I suggest to pick this book and read it. It’s short and it’s intriguing that it will make you won’t stop reading it. Maybe you want to get a taste of Flynn’s writing, just pick this book.