Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Publication Date: November 2015
Format: Paperback, 80 pgs
This short story by Gillian Flynn first appeared in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology and it won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 2015. With an old Victorian mansion setting, one could easily classified this as a creepy read but there is something more than that - it contains an interesting view of characters and behavioural studies and most of all, I was very intrigued with the author's different take from her other well-known works and I plunged into this book with anticipation.
The unnamed character is a young woman who frauds for a living. To be exact, she gives hand jobs to men and act as a psychic to clients, who are mostly women, to offer them some "guidance" in life and offer solutions. Then one day a woman called Susan Burke came to her, telling her her life is troubled and she suspects there is something in her house. She believes some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home and her 15-year-old stepson, Miles, is behaving strangely and it scares her.
The narrator doesn't believe in the supernatural; she is sure the old house has Susan's imagination running wild and that Miles, being an adolescent, has his issues and nothing more. However, when the narrator steps into the mansion she does feel something weird about the house, and Miles seems to be watching her every move and yes, behaving strangely. Soon the narrator finds herself locked in a chilling battle between Susan and Miles and it is up to her to discover the evil lurking within the old mansion.
Honestly speaking, The Grownup is not something I have expected but I have to say the author has done a terrific job in building up the intrigue and one couldn't help but to get suck into the story. However, since this is a short story there isn't enough characters development but the author has vividly described the characteristic of the narrator and her thoughts so this allows readers to get to know the person as who she is. I wouldn't want to say too much about the story but that the ending bothered me. I suppose that leaves to each reader's interpretation but personally I wished the ending was anything but. Nevertheless, Gillian Flynn's writing style is brilliant and I hope she has a new release out soon.