Publishing Date: 11/03/15
I saw that this book was more novella style than an actual book, as it was originally published in another anthology, but I was still disappointed with how abruptly this novella ended. I am usually a fangirl whenever it comes to Gillian Flynn, I have read every novel that she has had published so far and love all of the different twists and turns they take. It felt like she had a deadline to meet so she just threw words onto the page. She was endlessly descriptive with the backstory of the main character (unnamed) and tells a story of how said main character tries to help a family deal with their haunted house. Then she reveals the plot twist and ends the story in what seems like the last two pages. If she was going to republish this as a standalone book, it is my opinion she should have rewritten it and expanded on the ending.
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.
About the Author
Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies. She has happy memories of having A Wrinkle in Time pried from her hands at the dinner table, and also of seeing Alien, Psycho and Bonnie and Clyde at a questionable age (like, seven). It was a good childhood.
In high-school, she worked strange jobs that required her to do things like wrap and unwrap hams, or dress up as a giant yoghurt cone. A yoghurt cone who wore a tuxedo. Why the tuxedo? It was a question that would haunt her for years.
For college, she headed to the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks), where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism.
After a two-year stint writing about human resources for a trade magazine in California, Flynn moved to Chicago. There she earned her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and discovered that she was way too wimpy to make it as a crime reporter.