Rating: 4 out of 4 stars
Title: The Grownup
Author: Gillian Flynn
A Canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of 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 giver 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 maters 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.
I don’t know if I would call this a book review, definitely more of a story review. The story was only 62 pages long and I finished within an hour. I generally don’t like short stories. They are just one of those things that don’t do it for me but, this was fantastic!
I found the main character hilarious. She was doing what she does best, conning people out of money. Not that I believed this is the route to go, but it worked for her and she did the best she could have a crappy upbringing.
One thing that I like about Gillian Flynn novels is that she is great at building suspense. I always find myself on the edge of my seat, gripping the book, and blocking out my surroundings. At one point I realize I had butterflies in my stomach as I read it and my heart was racing. Just when I thought that I would possibly loose sleep thinking my own house had evil spirits, as with much of her stories, there was a twist that left me scratching my head, in a good way.
There is no true conclusion to this story. Flynn leaves it up to the reader to decide which truth to believe. Initially I wasn’t sure I liked this conclusion but, the more I thought about, I found this to be an interesting thing to do. My biggest complaint with short stories is that they end so soon but, now this one never seems to end because the ending is what the reader chooses to believe. I think that makes for great discussion.
Have you read The Grownup? What did you think? How do you feel about short stories?