Gillian Flynn is best known for her smash hit Gone Girl , but her two other novels Dark Places and Sharp Objects are also excellent. Flynn is a masterful writer and her protagonists are generally prickly women with dark pasts.
The Grownup is Flynn’s latest literary offering, a slender little story you could polish off over a cup of tea and a biscuit. (Literally – it’s 62 pages long.) She thanks George R.R. Martin (author of Game of Thrones) for asking her to “write him a story.” This particular story actually won an Edgar, a prestigious award given by the Mystery Writers of America.
“I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it,” says our narrator. Now she has painful carpal tunnel syndrome and needs to find another way to make money. She’s been a grifter her entire life, learning at her now-absent mother’s hem.
“I came to my occupation honestly,” she tells us. Raised by her mother “the laziest bitch I ever met”, the narrator now guarantees satisfaction at Spiritual Palms: tarot readings in the front, hand jobs in the back.
One day Spiritual Palms’ owner, Viveca asks the narrator if she’s clairvoyant and before she can say poltergeist, the narrator is giving readings to the public. That’s where she meets Susan Burke, a harried woman who proclaims “my life is falling apart.”
Wanting to help, imagining a life where she does, the narrator goes to Susan’s home, Carterhook Manor, and there things take a decidedly creepy turn.
I can’t say much more than that, really. After all, in the time it would take you to read this review, you could be half way through The Grownup. What are you waiting for? Go on.