Stand Alone short story: Published 11/3/15: 62 Pages
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program for an honest review
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.
I must confess this is my very first read by this author. Shocking I know with the popularity of Gone Girl. I can not tell you how many people have told me I MUST read that book… Okay maybe I just didn’t count, but I would say it is at least half a dozen including one of my friends that knows my reading taste pretty well. I knew Flynn is a dark suspenseful author and I have to be in the right mood for a book where I know I might not like the characters and there is little possibility for a happy ending. I read to escape and her books just never seemed the right fit for me regardless of how often it is recommended to me.
That’s why when I saw this book up for review I decided that a short story would be an excellent way to try out this wildly popular author. I have to say it wasn’t bad, I think I might give Gone Girl or one of the other titles a try now. I liked the darker lead character, she wasn’t a saint by any means, but still likable. The humor was very dry, not laugh out loud funny (for me), but more of a make you smirk while reading. The story grabbed you with a great opening line and sucked you right in with just enough back ground information without bogging things down. This short story has tons of twists and turns in its mere 62 pages. Some I saw coming, some I didn’t. Readers that need closure at the end of a story might be frustrated with this one, but I kind of liked how the author left it with the reader getting to draw their own conclusions as to what happens next.
Over all it is a quick fun read that can fit in your purse or coat pocket to take and read when waiting for an appointment somewhere. It isn’t gory or really that scary, but it quite clever and I think fans of Flynn will really like it. If you are like me and haven’t read this author before this is a great way to give her a try to see if she is a good match for you. The retail price for the print version is a bit much in my opinion for such a short story, but it probably won’t stop fans from picking this one up to have in their collection. Personally would go with the e-version that is much more reasonably priced…