The narrator in Gillian Flynn’s story ”The grownup” gives hand-jobs for a living. After developing carpal tunnel syndrome, she’s forced to switch to fortune telling. There, she meets Susan Burke, a rich, nervous woman, who comes to her with what seems to be an easy job: get rid of the bad vibes in the house she and her husband with their two children live in. Our narrator thinks that she has it made. She only has to pretend to perform some rituals, take a year or so to get the job done and then she gets to meet a lot of new, rich clients through Susan. If it seems too good to be true, it’s because it is. Things do not go the way she wants them to. They go all weird.
It took me about an hour to read this book. It’s a short and easy story that keeps you guessing as to what genre it falls into until the end. Flynn likes her characters troubled and complex, all rough edges and little to no charm, and the ones in ”The grownup” are no exception. The plot twists and turns; so much so that it’s almost as if this is the whole point of the book, an exercise in how many times you can throw your readers within 70 pages.
With that said, the story was entertaining enough. It was creepy at times, the complete lack of warmth in any of the characters chilling, as if any one of them could do something horrible at any moment. Unfortunately, I don’t expect the story to stick with me. Considering its brevity, it would have had to carry a lot more punch if it were to have a bigger impact on my memory. Still, I only gave it an hour of my life so maybe I shouldn’t expect it to.