and welcome to my first review. First, a couple of words on how I would like to set up my reviews. I will have a Spoiler-Free section, and then a Spoiler-Alert section in my review. I will also divide my thoughts on the book in three main categories: plot, characters, writing. These three categories will mainly apply to the Spoiler-Free section of my review. Alright, without further ado, let’s get into the review!
Today I am reviewing The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn. This is a short novella written by the author of Gone Girl. I have not read that novel, but as I was browsing the shelves at Waterstones, I thought to myself, why not pick up this short story. After all it will give me a taste of Flynn’s writing. I was right: I really liked this novella. My overall rating for it was 4/5 stars.
This is the story of a young woman who is trying to earn a living by faking her psychic abilities. She is very good at telling people what they want to hear, but when she meets Susan Burke and the woman asks her to practice an exorcism to her house – where she lives with her husband and her stepson Miles – everything is about to change…
- Plot: the plot is twisted. This is a mystery/paranormal thriller, and I really enjoyed the way Flynn managed to build the suspense to the action. When I read a book I love to try to disentangle the mystery behind it, and I have to say Flynn did a pretty good job at preventing that from happening. Parts of the plot were a bit cliché, but I think that’s due to the fact that this is a short story, and the author did not have the space to develop the plot too much.
- Characters: I loved the main character. I liked how she did not care about what people thought of her. Even though a little selfish, she only lived for herself; I think sometimes we forget about ourselves too much, and it is a good thing to think about our well-being every once in a while. Susan on the other hand, I could not really figure out until the end. Flynn did a very good job at rendering Susan’s scattered-ness. She appears fearful and always alert. Finally, Miles is just a creep. He is this skinny, short, ghostly-pale teenager, and every hunted house has one.
- Writing: the writing was very fluid and raw, which I loved. I particularly enjoy novels written in the first person that present a language that is not restrained; when the author gives free rain to the psychology of the characters without any filter the novel comes to life. I think it makes it more real, in fact, I read this short story in one sitting, and when I put it down I just wanted more. I guess that’s a good sign!
So this is it for the spoiler-free section. I hope you guys enjoyed. If you have read this novella, or have read any other Gillian Flynn novels, please let me know in the comments down below, along with what your thoughts on the novella were. Also, if you have any suggestions on how you would like me to do any reviews let me know!
Hope you have a good one,
**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you do not want to be spoiled!
Okay let’s take a moment and appreciate Miles’ creepiness. At the end, when they are in the car and he is saying how in reality it was not Susan, and there is the third twist, my mind was spinning. I think Flynn did a flawless job at portraying Susan as the psycho first, just to have Miles disrupting that theory in the end as well. He is a mastermind and I would love to see him in action in a longer work. I felt like this novella had an open ending, I want to know more!