by Gillian Flynn
Published by Crown Publishing, November 3, 2015
64 Pages • ISBN 978-0804188975 • Hardcover
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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.
“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.
This slim little volume pulls you in so many different directions (Is it a sex industry expose? Ghost story? Mystery? Psychological thriller? Something all together different?) and leaves you wondering exactly what is happening or who is telling the truth that I'm still not sure if I have the answer to what's going on. This is my first experience reading Gillian Flynn, and if she is this good in just 64 pages, I can't imagine how great she'll be with a full length novel.
My best advice is to just go ahead and read it. Fan of a good ghost story? You'll like it. Enjoy a twisty psychological thriller? You'll like it. Can't get enough of an unreliable narrator? You'll like it. So, just read it. Meanwhile, I'm heading to the bookstore to pick up one of Gillian Flynn's novels. Hell, I'll probably just pick them all up. I'm sold.