The Grownup, Gillian Flynn – A book review

The Grownup review Naptime Natter

Over the past couple of years Gillian Flynn has become my favourite author, ever. I love her writing style, the untrustworthy characters she creates and her ability to keep her readers guessing before shocking us all with plot twists that no one saw coming. When I picked up The Grownup in the bookshop and realised it was less than 70 pages long, I was slightly concerned Flynn was not going to be able to deliver her trademark dramatic twists and turns in so few words. How very wrong I was…

The Grownup is about a woman living in the city who, after a difficult childhood, has spent years performing sex acts on men in the back room of a fortune tellers shop. When years of pleasuring men for money causes her to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, the unnamed narrator moves to the front of the shop and begins her career in reading peoples auras. Instead of manipulating bodies she is now manipulating vulnerable people and telling them exactly what they want to hear.

Our leading lady was enjoying a pretty easy job until an upset Susan comes in for a reading one day. Susan is not sure if she is a believer in what this woman does but she is concerned the house she has recently moved to is having a negative influence on her stepson, Miles. This is where the story gets pretty creepy, anything to do with a possessed house or creepy children always freaks me out.

The narrator sees Susan as yet another money making scheme, she agrees to cleanse the house, burn some herbs and give it a good clean and voila, the ‘bad spirits’ will be gone. We meet Miles in their old Victorian house and he is every bit as creepy as Susan describes. Miles has very violent tendencies, a devilish grin and is not shy of dishing out the odd death threat or two; his Mother, younger brother, babysitter and even the cat have all been victims of his evil ways. From the moment Flynn introduced him, I was scared of Miles. I won’t tell you what happens next but I will say the ending does not disappoint and as you finish the last line, you will be left desperate for more yet completely satisfied at the same time.

This book is immediately recognisable as something written by Gillian Flynn, nothing is quite as it seems and deciding what characters, if any, to trust is no easy task. In under 70 pages, Flynn manages to pack in a satisfying amount of character development as well as throwing a couple of plot twists into the mix. I was pleasantly surprised, that even though it is a short story, the story didn’t feel rushed and none of the tension was sacrificed due to a strict word limit.

If you like Gillian Flynn’s other novels (Sharp Objects, Dark Places,Gone Girl) you will not be disappointed by her latest work. It has proved the perfect cure to my Flynn withdrawal symptoms (they’re a real thing) and has got me looking forward to the release of her next novel, whenever that may be. Also, if you have never read any of her previous work, The Grownup is a great introduction to Flynn and her writing style, it can easily be read in an hour. If you don’t like it, that’s only an hour of your life wasted but if you love it, you may just open yourself up to some pretty brilliant crime thriller novels, full of characters and storylines so messed up you will find it difficult to forget them.

The Grownup is the first short story I have ever read, it was originally featured in an anthology put together by George R R Martin called Rogues. I have been inspired to read more short stories now, while I love to completely emerge myself in a book for weeks, being able to read a story in one sitting and not have to wait to find out the ending was really refreshing and exciting.

 

Do you like reading short stories? Have you read The Grownup or any other Gillian Flynn novels? Has this review inspired you to give it a read? I would love to know your thoughts.

If you enjoyed this review, you may also enjoy reading my other book reviews here.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to buy any of the books following the links in this post I will receive a few pennies, at no extra cost to you*

 

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21 Comments

  1. May 30, 2016 / 9:12 am

    I generally like a good long meaty novel to take on my hols, (its the only time I get to read these days) so don’t usually go for short stories. I have read Gone Girl and really enjoyed it and even though this is a short one, it does appeal. Might have to fit in some bedtime reading! xx
    Sonia recently posted…A Guide to Happy Homework With 3!My Profile

    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      You should read it, especially if you liked Gone Girl. It is really short and won’t take long to read, you could read it in an hour and then get stuck in to your meaty novel 🙂 xx

    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      Oops! 🙂 xx

  2. May 30, 2016 / 11:00 am

    Such a well written review I’m definitely interested now. I’ve read Gone Girl but none of the others so I’ll be checking them out. Thanks! #mg

    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      Aww thank you 🙂 Ohh you need to read the others too if you loved Gone Girl xx

  3. May 30, 2016 / 12:28 pm

    I’ve not read anything by Gillian Flynn but I like the sound of it! I love short stories – I read loads of Victorian / Edwardian stuff that makes up the free or pennies section on the kindle store. 🙂 #anythinggoes
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    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 5:55 pm

      You need to read her books Jess, she’s so good :). Ohh, I’ve not read anything like that before, might be worth a try next time I need something to read xx

  4. May 30, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    I love reading and this sounds like a very good book. Will put it on my list. The plot sounds intriguing already. #mg

    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 5:57 pm

      It is really good, let me know if you enjoy it xx

  5. May 30, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Oh my goodness this sounds dark but I do love Gone Girl so I think I might have to give this a go….just to find out what happens in the house#mg
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    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 5:58 pm

      It is pretty dark but it’s really good. I hope you enjoy it if you do read it, if you liked Gone Girl I’m sure you will xx

  6. May 30, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    I haven’t read a book in so long! I’m intrigued, and a short story would probably be ideal for me. I have heard so much about Gone Girl that we’ve cheated and bought the DVD, although I must confess that even that is still in its wrapper! *slaps own wrist* Right I’m on it! This weekend: Gone Girl (DVD – Sorry – I’m a heathen I know), next holiday: The Grown Up in actual book form!
    Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter x

    • Wendy
      May 30, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      How is it still in it’s wrapper?!You need to watch it. Well, I think even you can manage to read The Grownup..it’s only 60 odd pages long, the equivalent of a couple of blog posts..you can do it 🙂 Thanks for hosting xx

  7. May 31, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    I loved Gone Girl and this sounds equally brilliant, will definitely be picking it up! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    #TriedTested

    • Wendy
      May 31, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      You’re welcome, hope you enjoy it 🙂 xx

  8. June 1, 2016 / 2:45 am

    sounds awesome and freaky too. I will have to read this as you have me intrigued now. I did read gone girl and didn’t enjoy the first half, but enjoyed the second half. Thank you for sharing I love a great book #mg

    • Wendy
      June 1, 2016 / 7:26 pm

      Ohh yes it is pretty freaky, it’s good though. You will have to read it and let me know what you think :). Thanks for hosting xx

    • Wendy
      June 1, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks for hosting xx

  9. September 5, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    Great review! Love a satisfying ending. I really enjoyed Gone Girl but never seem to have time to read anymore so short stories could be the way forward for me. Thanks!

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