No Spoiler Book Review
One of the first phrases in Grownup is “hand job”. If this bothers you, please follow this link to my Haunting of Hill House review. You’ll find it to be much more enjoyable and still spooky.
Grownup is a short story by Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl. The print version is 64 pages, the audio is just over an hour. So if you are looking for something quick and twisted, this is your book!
The unnamed main character, we’ll call her “Hand Job”, because if you’re going to read this, you’ll need to get used to it!
Anyway, after giving something like 23,000 hand jobs in her professional career, our heroine moves to the front office to work as a “psychic” (it’s better for her carpal tunnel). After a few confidence boosting “psychic” transactions, she meets Susan. Susan is desperate for help dealing with her haunted house. She is convinced that her malevolent home is destroying her family and her life.
“Hand Job” doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe that Susan will happily part with large sums of money for her help, so she agrees.
What ensues is a compact, clever and twisted tale, full of dark and suspicious characters and circumstances.
My favorite thing about Grownup is the unnamed main character. I love how adaptable she is. She is always looking for ways to work a situation to her advantage. In her own way, she always has a positive outlook on life.
It amazes me when an author can make you connect to a character quickly. I have read thousand page books that didn’t get me to connect to the characters, Gillian Flynn did it in less than one hundred.
I have been a fan of well-crafted short stories since college. Something you can read in an hour, but also has complex characters and surprising plot lines. This falls into that category.
Here are a few other short stories that I love. Follow the links to the full text of the stories:
Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Other People by Neil Gaiman
Desiree’s Baby by Kate Chopin
If you have read and enjoyed any of the above short stories you will probably love The Grownup! Fans of spooky ghost stories and anyone who likes short and twisted tales will enjoy this quick read. Stay away from this if you are offended by certain previously mentioned terms.
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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.